As he boarded his flight to Pakistan earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the purpose of his visit: "New leader there, wanted to get out there at the beginning of his time in an effort to reset the relationship between the two countries."
There is plenty to reset. Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan are badly strained. And while it would be unrealistic to expect the two countries to start completely anew overnight, by the end of Pompeo's brief visit on Wednesday, he and Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan both sounded upbeat.
But a true reset requires more than just high-level visits, smiling photo ops and respectful body language. It depends on changes on both sides – symbolic and substantive – and demands coordination among the multiple government agencies involved.