Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, calls for resumption of dialogue

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2018 15:50 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Sep 20 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, has called for resumption of dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Prime Minister Modi, last month, had written to Prime Minister Khan congratulating him on taking charge as country's 22nd premier. Responding to the congratulatory message, Khan has written: "I endorse your sentiment that the only way forward for our two countries lies in 'constructive engagement.' It was in this spirit that Pakistan's Minister of Law and Information attended the funeral of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi. Mr. Vajpayee contributed in trying to bring a positive change in our bilateral relations and was also a major proponent of a strong SAARC for building bridges and developing ties."
Addressing Prime Minister as 'Modi Sahab' in the letter dated September 14, Khan said: "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. Siachin and Sir Creek also need close attention towards resolution."

He further added, "Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism. Discussion on trade, people to people contacts, religious tourism, humanitarian issues are also important."
The outreach by Khan has come ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which is scheduled to be held in New York for next week. In the letter, Khan has proposed a meeting between India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, on the sidelines of the UNGA.
The letter also said, "Building on mutual desire for peace between our two countries, I wish to propose a meeting between Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and External Affairs Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, before the informal meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers at the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York. They can explore the way forward, especially the holding of the SAARC Council of Ministers followed by the SAARC Summit in Islamabad. The summit will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process. I look forward to working with you for the benefit of the people of both our countries."
The details of the letter have come out a day after a Border Security Force trooper's bullet-ridden body was found at the India-Pakistan International Boundary in Jammu.
In his first televised address after taking over as the Prime Minister, the cricketer-turned-politician had said his government would respond with two steps if India took one.
The dialogue between the two countries remains suspended since 2015 amidst incidents of cross-border terrorism and spike in ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistani terrorists attacked an Indian army camp in Pathankot, Punjab in 2016 and eight months later in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. India retaliated with surgical strikes on terror camps inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September same year. (ANI)