The consequences of a breakdown in dialogue between India and Pakistan might be unpredictable and could well push bilateral relations, as well as the situation in Kashmir, into uncharted waters.
In refusing to call off the talks between Indian and Pakistani national security advisers, Modi might be signalling the strength to rethink the core assumptions of India’s recent Pakistan policy.
Even if Pakistan succeeds in getting the new Taliban leadership to the table, there will be enough Afghan elements to challenge the terms.
If Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day visit to Pakistan was about celebrating Beijing’s friendship, his presence at Bandung, Indonesia is likely to see an assertion of the Chinese claim to leadership in Asia.
Chinese President Xi’s travel to Islamabad, coming three weeks before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, raises interesting questions about New Delhi’s changing approach towards Beijing.
Islamabad is under pressure from Saudi Arabia to join military operations against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, but there is little popular support in Pakistan for jumping into a sectarian war.
Squeezed between the Sunni extremism of the Islamic State on the one hand and the rising political clout of the Shia Iran on the other, the Saudis are apparently eager to cash in their many IOUs in Pakistan.
Having suspended talks with Islamabad last August, the Indian government needed a diplomatic device to renew the engagement with Pakistan.
Cricket has always come in handy to the leaders of India and Pakistan to break political ice at difficult moments in bilateral relations, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent outreach follows this trend.
As Modi and Obama expand the scope of the India-U.S. partnership, they have a rare opportunity to strengthen bilateral engagement on regional issues in the subcontinent, including the stability of Pakistan.