Ready with a re-invitation letter for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Pakistan, Premier Nawaz Sharif will be sending Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi, and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to India on Thursday. Mr. Sharif will be appearing as the chief guest at the World Kabbadi Championship finals in Ludhiana on Saturday. Pakistan’s envoy Salman Bashir will also be present during the visit. It is worthy of noting that both prime ministers have exchanged more than half a dozen letters since PML-N won elections in Pakistan. This has not happened without tension; after the August 6 LoC flare-up, both governments kept channels of communication and reconciliation open instead of giving into more belligerency.

That said, there is more left to be desired. The tepid response from India may as well as be strategic; with the elections around the corner, a warm and cordial relationship with Pakistan is typecast myopically as betrayal by ultra-conservatives and even counterproductive by liberals across the border. It also remains important to understand that no matter how many goodwill gestures are made to and fro between one prime minister and the other, substantive progress on any of the bilateral issues is impossible without honest and actual implementation. These bilateral predicaments are, at the end of the day, the most significant notes that need to be checked by both countries.

As Khawaja Asif stated previously, agreement on certain issues between the countries can lead to great development in the power and economic sectors. Similarly, conflict on the border may also be taken into consideration and worked on for mutual peace. Pakistani leadership can only invite and visit India so many times and extend its hand for cooperation and respect but as they say, it takes two to tango. A successful outcome is only achievable if India reciprocates as sincerely.