Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling for the resumption of the peace dialogue between the two countries, the Foreign Office confirmed on Thursday.
“PM has responded to PM Modi, in a positive spirit, reciprocating his sentiments,” shared FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Twitter. “Let’s talk and resolve all issues. We await formal response from India.”
According to Times of India, PM Khan specifically sought a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York later this month.
During yesterday’s weekly briefing, Dr Faisal had said ─ while responding to a question about the chances of a bilateral meeting between the FMs on the sidelines of the UNGA ─ that no decision had yet been taken on it. “We are engaged in the matter,” he said.
The letter from the premier is a response to Modi’s communique earlier this month to PM Khan, seeking “meaningful and constructive” engagement between the two neighbours.
The TOI news report quoted diplomatic sources as saying that PM Khan in his letter called for the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue process between the two countries. Khan wrote that India and Pakistan should resolve all outstanding issues, including terrorism and Kashmir, through dialogue.
Steps for better ties
Last month, the then prime minister-elect Imran Khan in his victory speech had expressed his desire to “improve relations with India, if their leadership also wants it”.
“If they take one step towards us, we will take two, but we at least need a start,” he had said.
Subsequently, Indian premier Modi had telephoned him to convey that Delhi was “ready to enter a new a new era of relations with Pakistan”.
Modi had said both countries should adopt a joint strategy for progress in bilateral ties. The PTI chairman had expressed same views during his first meeting with the Indian envoy after the July 25 election and had pushed for the “resumption of talks between Pakistan and India”.
Last month, following a visit by Navjot Singh Sidhu to Pakistan for the prime minister’s oath-taking ceremony, PM Khan took to Twitter to once again invite India to dialogue and pursue peace, terming it the “best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent”.
“To move forward, Pakistan and India must dialogue and resolve their conflicts, including Kashmir,” the premier was quoted as saying.
“The best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue and start trading.”
‘Dialogue only way forward’
Newly appointed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also made clear in his first press conference after assuming office that he would pursue dialogue with the neighbouring rival as a way forward.
“Us coming to the table and talking peace is our only option. We need to stop the adventurism and come together. We know the issues are tough and will not be solved overnight, but we have to engage,” Qureshi had said. “We cannot turn our cheek. Yes we have outstanding issues. Kashmir is a reality; it is an issue that both our nations acknowledge.”
“We need a continued and uninterrupted dialogue. This is our only way forward,” he had stressed.
“We may have a different approach and line of thinking, but I want to see a change in how we behave,” he had added. “India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them.”