Pakistan PM Imran Khan writes to PM Modi; offers to hold talks

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New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, saying Islamabad wants dialogue with New Delhi to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries.

The letter came a day after New Delhi ruled out the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Khan and Modi on the sidelines of the SCO summit slated to be held later this month in Bishkek.

Congratulating Modi for assuming office for a second term, Khan said that Pakistan wanted talks to resolve all disputes, including Kashmir and other issues like poverty, Geo News reported.

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The cricketer-turned-politician reiterated his wish for peace and stability in the South Asian region and underlined that it was important for the two countries to jointly work together for regional development.

India on Thursday ruled out any meeting between Khan and Modi on the sidelines of the upcoming SCO summit. “To the best of my knowledge no meeting has been planned between PM Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the SCO Summit in Bishkek,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said at his weekly briefing.

Last month, Khan had congratulated Modi after BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections, and said he was “looking forward to working with him for peace, progress, and progress in South Asia.”

Responding to Khan’s message, Modi had said that he has always “given primacy to peace and development in our region.”

Ahead of the polls, Khan had said that there might be a better chance of peace talks with India if Modi won the elections.

India has, however, stood firm on its stance that terror and talks cannot go together.

Tensions between India and Pakistan soared after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 CRPF soldiers. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit — Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

On February 26, India launched an air strike on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot, in response to the barbaric terror attack in Pulwama.

The next day, Pakistan Air Force planes had to attack Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to a dogfight. A MiG 21 aircraft flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down an F16 fighter plane of Pakistan during the aerial confrontation.

Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistani troops after he crossed over, was later released by the Pakistan government as a “peace gesture.


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