Army Chief Raheel Sharif

IN THE regional politics of South Asia, thaws are often the briefest of interludes between frost and steam. But even by local standards, the most recent rapprochement between India and Pakistan has proved remarkably short-lived.

On July 11th, on the margins of a regional summit in Ufa in Russia, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and Nawaz Sharif, his Pakistani counterpart, signed a joint statement that seemed a breakthrough of sorts.

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