Ever since Narendra Modi-led government took over in New Delhi last year, the relations between India and Pakistan have increasingly soured.
Though PM Modi's initial outreach to his counterpart Nawaz Sharif whom he invited to his swearing-in ceremony created hope of a renewed engagement between the estranged neighbours, the abrupt cancellation of the secretary level talks over Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's meeting with Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah brought the situation back to square one.
Ever since the two countries have only drifted further apart with some weak attempts at re-engagement coming to nought.
As recent developments indicate, the relations have now plunged to their lowest in the past year. The operation against the NSCN(K) terrorists in Myanmar followed by the aggressive talk by some ministers and the jingoism in a section of media have elicited a similar response from Pakistan. A string of statements emanating from Islamabad have warned New Delhi against crossing LoC in pursuit of militants.
From the Pakistan interior minister Nisar Ali Khan to Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to former president General Pervez Musharraf, all have asserted that Pakistan will retaliate should India replicate Myanmar operation along LoC. This has created a fraught regional situation prompting even United States to call upon India and Pakistan "to take steps to reduce tensions and to move towards resuming talks".
But this hardly appears to be the case. If the recent statements coming out of the both countries are any indication, the relations have only gone from bad to worse. And this is hardly a good sign for the region which is witnessing a profound geopolitical transformation with all its attendant risks and challenges.
With China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and the growing US slant towards India, a new power game is unfolding in the region. Such a scenario will not only defer the resolution of the festering issues between the neighbours so necessary for the regional peace but also keep the region divided during a fraught transition to a new order post US exit from Afghanistan.