Imran Khan writes to Modi says Islamabad remains ready to discuss terrorism; India, Pakistan ministers set to meet in US on the sidelines of UNGA this month
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that India and Pakistan resume dialogue that has been suspended since 2015. In the letter addressing the PM as “Modi Sahab”, Imran Khan also suggests a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Pakistan “remains ready” to discuss terrorism, the new Pakistan prime minister wrote.
Referring to Modi’s letter after he was sworn in last month, Imran Khan said he endorsed his sentiment that the only way forward for the two nations “lies in constructive engagement”. In his victory speech, the cricketer turned politician had said that Pakistan would respond with two steps if India took one.
Government sources have told NDTV that resumption of dialogue is not on the cards. “Talks and terror can’t go together,” they say, reasserting New Delhi’s stand. However, a meeting between the foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week is not ruled out.
This is the second outreach by Imran Khan, who is perceived as a man close to the Pakistan army and whose campaign speeches were full of anti-India rhetoric.
The letter is dated September 14 but its details have emerged a day after a soldier’s throat was slit by Pakistani troops at the International Border, after which the Border Security Force lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan Rangers.
“Pakistan and India have an undeniably challenging relationship. We, however, owe it to our peoples, especially the future generations, to peacefully resolve all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, to bridge differences and achieve a mutually beneficial outcome,” said Khan.
He added that Siachen and Sir Creek also needed close attention to move towards a resolution.
The Modi government has insisted that Pakistan act against anti-India Islamist militant groups that operate from its soil before it can resume peace talks to resolve long standing differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and other disputes.
Pakistan denies aiding and abetting attacks in India including in Kashmir and says it is fighting militant groups for its own security, reported Reuters.
Source: The Daily Star