Both India and Pakistan are employing careful diplomacy, as they attempt to manoeuvre through the preliminary preparations for the Singh-Sharif meeting in New York, planned to take place later this month on the UN General Assembly sidelines. Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz and the Indian Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid ‘ran into each other’, at a dinner in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and discussed matters that affect both countries. They were originally scheduled to meet on Friday, for another unstructured meeting to discuss ‘various’ issues, before The Nation's special correspondent broke the story that the two parlayed informally in Bishkek.

Both Islamabad and New Delhi are following developments leading up to the New York meeting with bated breath. Since coming to power, the PML-N government has been exerting itself to overcome historically strained ties and start a new era of bilateral relations on a positive note, as promised by the Pakistani premiere, Nawaz Sharif. Given that Mr Sharif has given improving relations with India his utmost attention, Indo-Pak observers, along with the Prime Minister himself will be praying for these efforts to reach fruition.

A wary Pakistani press and its slightly more excitable counterpart across the border are meanwhile writhing in anticipation to have a concrete statement or two to work with, as the move towards dialogue proceeds at snail’s pace. With India gearing up for general elections, reception of Mr Sharif's repeated overtures has been less than enthusiastic, as Indian politicians focus more on winning friends inside the border, instead of responding to voices on the outside.

At the same time, the Pakistani government has reiterated that peace and stability are the imperative goals it is seeking to achieve, and moves made thus far support this notion. Commendable efforts that they are, the New York meeting, if it takes place, may even overshadow the Prime Minister’s first meetings with other world leaders including Obama, due to the interest it has sparked across both countries. Since Nawaz Sharif has made dialogue with India his primary goal in foreign policy, he will be hoping and praying that his ‘blind date’  culminates in a long and promising relationship, and Mr Singh does not stand him up at the last minute.