A day after being sworn in, India's new prime minister has sat down for talks with his Pakistani counterpart.

It follows a surprise invitation to Nawaz Sharif to attend Narendra Modi's swearing in ceremony on Monday. It marked the first time a leader from either side had attended the swearing-in of a leader from the other country.

The relationship between the neighbours has been variously frosty to hostile, and recently in something of a stalemate.

There have been flashpoints and flare-ups between the arch rivals ever since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, when Britain dismantled its Indian empire.

A formal peace process was launched in 2004, but the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, blamed on Pakistani fighters, set back any advances. Now the olive branch being offered by India is giving rise to cautious optimism.

But is the meeting between the old foes largely symbolic? Or will it herald the start of a new era of co-operation?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan

Guests:

Nalin Kohli - spokesman for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP

Talat Masood - a security and defence analys & retired general in the Pakistani Army

Salman Haider – a former Indian foreign secretary and ambassador

Source: Al Jazeera