India and Pakistan: Will They Move beyond ‘Sharing of Intelligence’?

Ashok K. Behuria is Senior Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • May 2016

    Intelligence sharing by the Pakistani National Security Advisor (NSA) with his Indian counterpart in early March 2016 came up as an interesting outcome of the ongoing engagement between them since December 2015. Such exchange of critical information has raised the levels of expectation among the peaceniks in the subcontinent about the prospects of peace talks between the two countries, after a whole series of false starts since 2008.

    Media reports in India termed it ‘unprecedented’1 and regarded it as ‘a new layer’ to India–Pakistan ties, while editorials in Pakistani English media hailed it as ‘timely, relevant and cooperative’, which could ‘clear the path for a full-fledged re-engagement’, and recommended that ‘regular interaction, sharing of information and mutual capacity-building will increase the trust between both governments—a key commodity severely lacking between the two neighbours’.

    Does it indicate a change of mindset in the Pakistani military establishment and signal an ‘across-the-board fight against terrorism’ by the Pakistani state, as an editorial in the daily Dawn (March 10, 2016) (a leading Pakistani daily English newspaper) suggested? Is it aimed at changing the contours of the India–Pakistan relationship leading to a full-fledged resumption of dialogue or a minor flash in the pan? It is useful to closely analyse the development in light of the optimism that the report has engendered in India and Pakistan.