On July 14, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan will join Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in what could be a historic summit between the leaders of these two pivotal states. The summit originated in an invitation by Vajpayee to Musharraf, an invitation that took the United States by surprise, especially because the two states had fought a bitter war in Kargil in 1999, after decades of hostility. Subsequently, there were elections in India, Musharraf ousted the Pakistani Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) and Musharraf recently elevated himself to the Presidency of Pakistan.
Will the summit lead to new agreements between the two states? Will these two nuclear powers be able to tackle the Kashmir issue and the problem of nuclear instability in South Asia? What should the United States do to ensure that the India-Pakistan dialogue will move forward?
Three leading South Asia experts will discuss the motives behind the Indian invitation, and Indian expectations for the summit; explore the options open to a stagnating Pakistan, now under military rule and several levels of American sanctions; offer a perspective on the region’s nuclear status; and discuss the kinds of confidence-building measures that the two states could agree to.