There is something surreal about talks between India and Pakistan. Even the slightest pretext is sufficient to derail them and they can restart again without any pressing reason.
But if there has to be some method in the madness, two conditions must hold. One, the political process in Jammu & Kashmir must be deepened. This is essential to marginalise the remaining secessionists. Simultaneously, the hunting down of terrorists must continue effectively. Once this happens, Pakistan must be told that the way to improve relations is through trade and economic prosperity. Its irredentist demands over the state have no role in bilateral ties.
This process has gone on in fits and starts for some years now. The Modi Government was expected to adhere firmly to that logic, but it seems to have slipped somewhere. Perhaps the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Islamabad will result in better appreciation of it in Pakistan’s capital. Else, India can afford one more round of talks about talks.