Is the prospect of India-Pakistan peace becoming visible on the not too distant horizon? The hopeful query springs from sporadic signals, including some of international import, and a lot of guesswork, important enough to stick one’s neck out.
Indian and Pakistani prime ministers will be in Samarkand on Thursday to participate in a two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Uzbekistan, where Samarkand is, has a history of nudging India and Pakistan to terminate their mistrust. The 1965 Tashkent Agreement may not have been to former Prime Minister the late ZA Bhutto’s liking but it did bring closure to a needless war between the two neighbours.
Equally important from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation perspective is the fact that India will be the host of the annual meet next year, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, presumably, would want to be a successful bash.
Obstructing the potentially grand diplomatic dream is Delhi’s current patch of strained ties with China and the strategic doldrums swamping relations with Pakistan. Above all, the persistent resolve of the United States to torpedo the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of which China and Russia are the ideological lynchpins, not to speak of the summit in Samarkand, which is expected to produce an alternative narrative to…