No Indian prime minister or president has visited Pakistan since 1998. In contrast, top Pakistani leaders have visited India five times since. What will it take to get India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to cross the border?
There has been much speculation about the future of democracy in Pakistan these days. Prophets of gloom are seeing generals at the ready. Optimists are hoping for a reconciliation. Reality lies between the two extremes.
Obama's announcement to negotiate with the Haqqani network continues its sensible policy of engaging Pakistan to combat terrorism and rebuild Afghanistan. But the Pakistanis do not see things quite the same way.
As the Obama administration prepares to shift responsibility for Afghanistan's security and governance to the Afghan people, it must keep in mind the security concerns of its reluctant ally in Islamabad.
The bald-faced attack on the oldest airbase in South Asia -- Lawrence of Arabia worked there as an engine clerk in mid-1920s -- reinforces the global concerns about the security of Pakistani nuclear assets.
In the context of rumors about an impending military coup in Pakistan, Obama's unannounced meeting with the Pakistani delegation emphasizing American support for the present civilian government might be a game-changer.
Balkanization does seem like an extreme step at first blush, and perhaps Pakistan should be given another chance. Yet, after considering Pakistan's historic and current relationship with Al Qaeda -- it becomes much easier to justify.
In Pakistan, there are no official figures on civilian casualties, and very little is known about how fighting between government forces and Taliban militants harm civilians. All available indications are that civilian casualties are significant.