We have to draw some hard lessons from the latest drama in India-Pakistan relations.
If we do not, we will continue being beset with unmet expectations, unrequited gestures and a thousand cuts.
Let us accept normal relations with Pakistan will elude reality in the foreseeable future. Pakistan cannot structurally make genuine peace with India.
The military dominates the Pakistani state and because it is deeply hostile towards India it will always impede bilateral ties
It has over the years become even more of an ideological state than when born.
Islam now increasingly influences its politics and social trends are towards more conservatism.
The military dominates the Pakistani state and because it is deeply hostile towards India it will always impede bilateral ties.
While at the political, commercial and cultural levels exchanges take place between us, at the military level they are absent, apart from local commanders on both sides of the LOC in J&K staging occasional flag meetings and the DGMOs speaking periodically on the phone.
These contacts are in the context of managing hostility, not ending it.
It is remarkable that, unlike during the Cold War when the two superpowers, despite their global confrontation, could engage each other at the military level, the Indian and Pakistani armed forces have no formal contact with each other.
If the most powerful element in Pakistan’s polity does not want to make peace with India, then peace will not come our way.