Foreign Secretary Level Talks : India 's Prime Minister

Decent Essays
While campaigning for last year’s national vote, Narendra Modi promised a “new chapter” in Indo-Pak history if he became India’s Prime Minister (P.M). Instead, bilateral relations during his year and a half in office have not budged past a prologue both exhausting and marred by testy cross-border rhetoric. All that has changed now, at least on the surface.

After Modi pleasantly surprised Pakistan by gatecrashing P.M Nawaz Sharif’s birthday party on December 25, there is hope for a new era, or at least one that sidesteps divisive populism. Foreign Secretary-level talks should begin on January 15 in Islamabad to roadmap a new composite dialogue on all outstanding issues including Kashmir. That is good news, no matter how you spin it.

That said, the dizzying speed of rapprochement has startled politicians and pundits alike in both countries. Though cynicism abounds about the illusory nature of progress in making permanent peace, and some compare P.M Modi’s impromptu visit to a foreign policy smokescreen, January has historically been a good month for international statecraft.

On New Year’s Day 1979, The People’s Republic of China (PRC) established formal relations with the US after 30 years of friction and short-circuiting each other’s geopolitical agendas. From squaring off in Korea and Vietnam during the Cold War, China and the US now practice two-way trade valued at over half a trillion dollars. The takeaway here is that diplomacy is rarely a zero-sum game or linear in
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