Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made an unscheduled stop in Pakistan on his way back from a visit to Russia and Afghanistan.
He was welcomed by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a sign that relations between the two countries are clearly warming.
The casual way in wich Mr Modi decided to make a stop by in the neighboring country, with which India shares a bloody history of violent conflict, is unprecedented in India-Pakistan relations and coincided with Mr Sharif’s birthday.
It has been over ten years since an Indian PM traveled to Pakistan and in the past, state visits between the two hostile nuclear powers were highly ordered affairs, following strict protocol. The idea that one could just drop in for a quick cup of tea and some cake would have seemed ridiculous.
At the same time both countries are still entangled in an old conflict over the border region of Kashmir. Since India and Pakistan have gained independence from Britain in 1947, they have fought two wars over Kashmir and tensions have rarely subsided over the past decades.
An Indian LtGen and commander in Kashmir told Globalo, that the Indian army would be ready for true peacemaking with Pakistan and welcomed detente with the long-time arch enemy.
The dominant Pakistani army on the other side changed its lukewarm policy against extremists, after they killed school children in Peshawar, and now understands that Islamists are a threat to them and Pakistan as well. Their main fear since decades is to be sandwiched between 1,2 billon Indians in the East and an unfriendly Afghanistan in the West. This was the main reason the Pakistan ISI supported the Taliban to influence the neighboring country.
The ceasefire agreed between both countries in 2003 remains in place, but India and Pakistan often accuse each other of violations.