There is much promise in the novel progression of Pak-India relations whereby Pakistani troops and their Indian counterparts will engage in joint military exercises. The military exercise will take place under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO.

The new-fangled initiative is far from an independent cognisant initiative on the part of both countries at mitigating grievances, and is in fact an enterprise broached under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to be exercised in Russia, far removed from the territorial auspices that pull the strings of discord between them. However, the initiative calls for a welcome thawing of hostilities following the recent alleged ceasefire violations across the Line of Control that have seen relations between the countries deteriorate. The otherwise inimical Indian media too has proclaimed the collaboration as positive turn in the bilateral relationship, a sentiment that must be reciprocated.

Where the exercises aim to build trust and mutual understanding, with eye towards coming up with a formula to manage border affairs, any endeavour in this area between the two acrimonious neighbours can go a long way in side stepping their tenuous relationship. Certainly, an initiative that encourages collaboration and cooperation between the two opposed militaries is a laudable step for It will be the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in UN peacekeeping missions

At a time when even the Koreas have come together in a magnanimous display of symbolic and concrete reconciliation, the idea of a truly amicable Pak-India engagement may not be the stuff of dreams. With a multitude of challenging and often seemingly intractable obstacles between the hitherto estranged counterparts, much like the tenuous colonial and postcolonial history of Pak-India, what can be ascertained is that there is always room for cooperation and resolution (seemingly). Even though it might be too optimistic to ascribe all hopes of an all-out compromise on this one venture, it is nevertheless a first in the strained Pak-India relationship and should be carried forth outside the ambit of multi-nation forums as well. As the two Koreas have shown, a little well intentioned symbolism goes a long way.