Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that Islamabad and New Delhi must resort to dialogue to resolve all conflicts, including Kashmir. “The best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue and start trading,” he tweeted.

On Monday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Narendra Modi had written to Khan, saying that the way forward was only through constructive engagement. However, unidentified Indian government officials told ANI that Modi had merely written a congratulatory letter to Khan and that there was no new proposal for dialogue.

Earlier, Imran Khan said his government would work to establish good relations with all the country’s neighbours and hold talks to normalise ties. “There is a need for peace and without it, we cannot improve the country’s situation,” Khan had said in his first address to the nation since being sworn in as the country’s 22nd prime minister.

On Tuesday, Khan also thanked Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu for attending his oath-taking ceremony on Saturday. Khan called Sidhu, who has been hugely criticised for attending the ceremony and for hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, “an ambassador of peace”.

Khan said those opposing Sidhu’s actions were “doing a great disservice to peace in the subcontinent”. Without peace the people of the two countries cannot progress, he added.

Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, won the most seats in elections to the National Assembly last month. Khan was elected prime minister by a 176-96 vote in the Assembly on August 17.

China ready to play ‘constructive role’

China on Wednesday welcomed “positive remarks” from India and Pakistan and said it is willing to play a “constructive role” in improving relations between the two countries, PTI reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the relations between India and Pakistan were important for regional peace, stability and prosperity. Lu refused to describe what the constructive role could be.