The talks carry risks for both countries if they go beyond what their constituencies are willing to bear. Many Pakistanis have long viewed India as the No. 1 security concern, despite U.S. pressure on the government to shift focus to the threat from Islamist militants.
India’s government, which proposed the renewed dialogue, will face a domestic uproar if there are more terrorist attacks emanating from Pakistani soil. Such attacks have consistently undermined past efforts to improve relations.
ReutersIndian soldiers patrol the Pakistani border near Jammu Thursday, the day talks between the nations began.
For the 77-year-old Mr. Singh, his pursuit of the peace talks could seal a legacy as a visionary statesman with the guts to do what wasn’t popular—or as a naïve leader who watered down his country’s hard line on terrorism.
If a formal dialogue emerges on Kashmir and other issues beyond terrorism, Mr. Singh could face fierce domestic opposition. The countries’ last round of talks, which began in 2004, was premised on Pakistan’s promise to shut down militants on its soil. But after the Mumbai attacks, in which terrorists killed 166 people, India broke off dialogue and said relations couldn’t improve without concrete action by Islamabad on terrorism.
Indian officials say Pakistan has made some progress rounding up and prosecuting suspects in the Mumbai attacks. But for many Indians, Pakistan may not have done enough