Want Constructive Engagement With Pakistan, Says Modi 

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Islamabad Clarifies: There’s No Offer Of Bilateral Dialogue By Indian PM’s Letter To Imran  

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to his new Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan that India desires “constructive engagement” with Islamabad but Pakistan quickly clarified that there was no offer of a bilateral dialogue.

Modi wrote to Imran Khan expressing India’s commitment to build good neighbourly relations and pursue meaningful and constructive engagement with Islamabad.

He also talked about a shared vision to bring peace to make the subcontinent free of terror and violence.

Informed sources said in New Delhi that Modi wrote to Khan on Saturday, congratulating him after he took oath as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Modi expressed India’s commitment to build good neighbourly relations between New Delhi and Islamabad and pursue meaningful and constructive engagement for the benefit of the people of the region.

He expressed the belief that the smooth transition of government in Pakistan would strengthen people’s belief in democracy.

Modi recalled their telephonic conversation in which they spoke of a shared vision to bring peace, security and prosperity in the subcontinent to make it free of terror and violence.

In Islamabad, the Foreign Ministry denied that Pakistan’s new Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had stated that Modi made an offer of a dialogue.

“In response to a query regarding the controversy being unnecessarily created by sections of the Indian media, the Foreign Minister had not stated that the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The Indian Prime Minister in his letter to Khan had mentioned something similar to what the Foreign Minister elucidated earlier that the way forward was only through constructive engagement.”

There are signs of thaw in Pak-India ties since July 27 when Imran Khan in his victory speech after winning July 25 polls stated that if India move one step forward we will move two.

Later, PM Modi telephoned Khan and congratulated him on his party’s win. Following the congratulatory call, High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria called on the PTI Chairman at his Banigala residence and presented a bat signed by the Indian cricket team.

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, in a brief chat with Navjot Singh Sidhu at the oath-taking ceremony on Saturday, had told the Indian cricketer that Pakistan wants peace.

The COAS, he said, has a desire to open border at Kartarpura for the Sikh pilgrims visiting Nankana Sahib to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

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