The chemistry between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani seems to work for the volatile India-Pakistan relations and the Cricket World Cup semi final at Mohali and SAARC summit laid a perfect platform for both of them to discuss the contentious issues.
In Maldives, the trust deficit between India and Pakistan seemed to be shrinking with Gilani assuring Manmohan Singh that the terrorists behind the Mumbai carnage, that virtually froze relations between the neighbours, will be brought to justice soon.
Interestingly, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik who had immediately after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks denied that Ajmal Amir Kasab even existed only to later, in January 2009, he acknowledged that he is a Pakistani but with a rider that he was a ‘non-state’ actor said, “Kasab is a terrorist. He is a non-state actor. He should go to gallows.”
Both the prime ministers not only struck an optimistic note and vowed to open a new chapter in their bilateral relations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went a step ahead and described Gilani as a “man of peace”. Gilani also invited Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan, requesting him to visit his birthplace in an area which is now in that country.
The two hostile neighbours not only created a political environment for talks but Pakistan has initiated the process of dialogue for balance of trade and to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. Trade between India and Pakistan, currently at around USD 2.5 billion, is expected to double over the next three years on account of Islamabad granting MFN status to New Delhi.