Recent conciliatory moves by India’s nationalist government on its western flank have rightly aroused global interest.

But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s calculus appears relatively simple. Faced with continued Chinese aggression on India’s northern frontier and a likely Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, improving relations on the country’s western flank, with Pakistan, seems prudent.

In recent weeks, there have been reports of secret back-channel talks between Indian and Pakistani security officials — facilitated by the United Arab Emirates — aimed at easing bilateral tensions. A February 2021 ceasefire along the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistani forces in the disputed Kashmir region has so far held, permitting an atmosphere of near-normalcy in the area.