The first interaction between the two leaders was marked by obligatory civility. However, Narendra Modi’s congratulatory phone call to Imran Khan on July 30 seems to have led to a series of interpretations among policy planners in India and Pakistan.
Pragmatists see it as nothing more than a customary courtesy extended by the Indian prime minister to his soon-to-be Pakistani counterpart. Optimists, on the other hand, are encouraged by the gesture, and read in it the first stirrings of a thaw in frozen bilateral relations.
Various events—untrammelled firing across the Line of Control, terror attacks by Pakistan-based militants, the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and a Kashmir in turmoil—have cloaked India-Pakistan ties in a prolonged phase of tension. The result is a lack of meaningful contact or attempts at engaging in a dialogue to put relations back on track.