The big news that everyone is talking about is Indian PM Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore. The bigger news that no body is talking about is Russian nuclear talks with India and the 16 agreements that they signed. After the Russian deals, which will turn India into a military superpower, Modi himself became the ultimate weapon of mass distraction. Quite literally, as he was extending a hand friendship to PM Sharif, in the other hand he was holding nukes.

But, maybe, we are being too cynical. The last time an Indian prime minister had set foot in Pakistani soil was when former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee attended a South Asian summit in 2004. Modi’s visit was a landmark event. This is the kind of diplomacy we want with a neighbour, that a head of government just stop to chat; this is how a friendly atmosphere for negotiations can be created. We forget how important personal charisma and one-on-one relationships are for international diplomacy. Armies of diplomats going head to head at formal conferences have often been counterproductive for the two countries.

Modi is the master of the big diplomatic gesture. But a gesture does not equal willingness to talk about Kashmir. According to India sources, the central idea was to signal that every meeting — even at the highest level — is not a summit, every meeting doesn’t have to have an “outcome.” This should be a loud and clear message that this was a smokescreen. This will take the pressure off the Indian side to make physical progress on the issue. No body can blame India now for not trying.

The Indian side has said that Modi wanted to “demystify” the process. Instead, the deals with Russia have been mystified. This is what Russia has offered India: 16 agreements across civil nuclear energy, defence, hydrocarbon, space, investments including setting up of 12 Russian built reactors for two sites, all amounting to about $7 billion, as well as the promise to support Delhi’s bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC). And it gets more hostile. Taking an indirect dig at Pakistan, the two countries emphasized the need for cooperation to address the challenge of terrorism, including the dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and financial support for terrorism.

If we really want to be positive about the whole charade, the silver lining is that this will definitely improve communication between the two countries. The Pakistani government should not let up pressure on India on talking about Kashmir. If this is a result of good Pakistani diplomacy, then Pakistan should maintain its stand on issues. If it is just the whim of a reformed megalomaniac, then its is especially important that Pakistan stand its ground.