A recent interaction between the Pakistani and Indian Prime Ministers shows some hopeful signs that the thawed relations between the two countries may be headed towards a friendlier route. In early June, Prime Minister Imran Khan had written a letter to Narendra Modi, where he had reiterated Pakistan’s offer to hold dialogue with India to resolve contentious issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and terrorism, to restore peace in the region. After a few weeks of silence, Indian Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have replied to these letters, where they have “responded positively” to Pakistan’s offer for talks, according to the Pakistan Foreign Office. The Indian politicians have reportedly gestured India’s desire for cooperative relations with all its neighbours and stressed upon the need for a peaceful environment safe from terror.

It is indeed an encouraging step that India has reciprocated the welcoming sentiment that Pakistan intended in its original correspondence. It signals a move away from the hostility that had prevailed between the two countries, particularly from India, during the Pulwama aftermath, where every offer for negotiation by Pakistan was shut down and responded aggressively to.

Yet a shift away from Pulwama aggression does not mean that India is ready for negotiation as of yet. It remains to be seen whether these letters by the Modi administration indicate a change in India’s approach towards Pakistan, or whether these are mere words of courtesy, intended to serve as a meagre reply to a letter of congratulations. The language used by India in these letters, especially the use of “terror” multiple times suggest that it is firm on its previous stances and more impasses are highly likely. Considering the flip-flopping tendency of the BJP, it is difficult to ascertain the impact any such friendly correspondence will have.