Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hope Springs India and Pakistan Gain from an Impromptu Visit

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hope Springs India and Pakistan Gain from an Impromptu Visit

Article excerpt

The photo of prime ministers Narendra Modi of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan walking down a red carpet together and holding hands on Christmas Day was encouraging, but the world must view it in the context of the countries' overall relations.

Everyone, except regional war hawks and global arms merchants, want India and Pakistan to get along. Both have nuclear weapons. They have been fighting over the disputed territory of Kashmir since the division of the subcontinent in 1947. Sporadic negotiations have taken place, but the talks always seem to break off before a more durable relationship can ensue.

This is not to say that Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif, acting on a personal basis, cannot improve relations. Mr. Modi phoned Mr. Sharif on Friday to wish him a happy birthday and to set up the informal drop-by in Lahore on his way back to India from Afghanistan. It was the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian prime minister since 2004. The two countries certainly have a basis for constructive talks on terrorism and trade. …

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