Narendra Modi writes to Imran Khan, says India committed to peaceful neighbourly ties with Pakistan

Prime minister Narendra Modi in a letter to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan said that India was committed to peaceful neighbourly ties with Pakistan. On Monday, Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also claimed that Modi had written to Imran Khan indicating the beginning of talks between the two countries.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

According to PTI, the letter sent by Modi stated that India was looking for constructive and meaningful engagement with Pakistan, official sources said. He also stressed the need to work for a terror-free South Asia, they said.

However, the letter by Prime Minister Modi did not state anything about a new proposal for dialogue with Pakistan, highly-placed government sources told news agency ANI.

Qureshi in his maiden address stated, “My message is for the Government of India. I want to tell the Indian foreign minister that we are not just neighbours; we are also the atomic powers besides we have a lot of common resources between each other,” he stated.

He claimed that the issues between the two countries are complicated and in order to resolve them, “we must engage”. “We will have to admit that we are facing problems, we must admit that Kashmir is a reality. The Islamabad declaration is a part of our history,” he said.

He further added that the countries coming to the table and talking peace is the 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," said Qureshi.

In an an-hour-long maiden address to the nation a day after his swearing in as the country's 22nd prime minister, Khan said that the country will enter into talks with all neighbours.

Speaking on Pakistan's foreign policy, 65-year-old Khan said Pakistan will work to have "best relations with all neighbours." "I have talked to all neighbours and Insha Allah, we will improve relations with all neighbours. Without peace (with neighbours) we cannot bring peace in Pakistan," he said.

Toon by Manjul.

Toon by Manjul.

Earlier, in his address, Khan had said Pakistan is ready to improve its ties with India and his government would like the leaders of the two sides to resolve all disputes, including the "core issue" of Kashmir, through talks. "If they take one step towards us, we will take two, but at least (we) need a start," he had said.

Khan's PTI party emerged as the single largest party with seats 116 in the 25 July general elections. On Friday, he was elected as the new prime minister of Pakistan by the lawmakers of the National Assembly, defeating his PML-N rival Shehbaz Sharif.

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 13:18:12 IST

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