This refers to the report “One step ahead, two steps back” (February 3). While businessmen are eyeing opportunities of Indo-Pakistan trade wistfully, recent tensions on the Line of Control have been a dampener. The 65-year-long hostility between India and Pakistan has only brought losses and miseries to both sides — but more so to Pakistan. Nevertheless, because this hostility increases the relative importance of the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), it may not be easy for Pakistan to give up. The Armed Forces and ISI may be hoping that the coming US withdrawal from Afghanistan will increase their importance in the region in the eyes of the US – and thereby increase their strength relative to India’s – though it’s hard to imagine in what manner. If so, all that India can do to improve relations is to wait patiently (in line with what it has been doing in the past) for such pipe dreams to subside.
Alok Sarkar, Kolkata
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