Pakistan-India relations are unlikely to improve

Anjum Altaf in the Friday Times:

ScreenHunter_465 Dec. 18 13.10Pakistan and India continue to flounder in a relationship marked by a frustrating low-level equilibrium trap. Almost everyone concedes there are gains to making up but no one seems able to transcend the impasse. From time to time there is the promise of a breakout dissipated quickly by a sharp downturn. A flurry of advisories follows on the importance of maintaining the relationship and much posturing later things work themselves back to the annoying status quo.

The sequence has now been repeated often enough to suggest the combination of method and madness that might be at play. The mix of rationality and irrationality is not all that curious. People talk about its various elements but for reasons not hard to decipher refrain from assembling them all in one narrative.

I believe it is worth spelling out the factors that stand in the way of better relations if only to point to the major hurdles that remain to be negotiated. Acknowledging the unpleasant realities is a necessary step to understanding the challenges that lie ahead.

More here.