ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday said Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi to resolve all differences, including the Kashmir issue, a media report claimed. The news comes a day after India said there will be no bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek next week.
In a letter to Modi congratulating him on his second term as the prime minister of India, Khan said talks between the two nations were the only solution to help both countries’ people overcome poverty and that it was important to work together for regional development, Geo TV reported.
Khan said Pakistan desires the resolution of all problems, including that of the Kashmir issue, the report said.
Meanwhile, sources in New Delhi said the Pakistani prime minister has sent a letter to Modi, congratulating him on his election victory, but did not clarify when the letter was received.
This is the second time after Modi was re-elected to power that Imran Khan has expressed his desire to work together with India for the betterment of their peoples.
Tensions between the two countries worsened after the Pulwama terror attack and both the countries were almost on the brink of war after Indian fighter aircraft struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 and Pakistan carried out a counter-offensive the next day.
On May 26, breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Khan spoke to Modi, congratulating him on the massive electoral victory in the general elections and expressing his desire to work with him towards advancing the objective of peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia.
Modi, on his part, called for creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.
India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of talks, maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.
No bilateral meeting has been planned between Modi and Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on June 13-14, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday in New Delhi.
The SCO is a China-led eight-member security bloc with India and Pakistan being admitted to the grouping in 2017. The other members of the alliance are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also wrote to his new Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar, saying that Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on “all important matters” and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region.
Qureshi told Jaishankar in the letter that “Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on all important matters and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region,” the Express Tribunereported on Friday, quoting diplomatic sources.