Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said he had received a message from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the eve of Pakistan National Day.
Khan quoted Modi as saying: “I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl [sic] of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence.”
Earlier in the day, India had boycotted a reception at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to mark Pakistan Day, opposing the invitations extended to several Kashmiri separatist leaders. Pakistan Day is celebrated to commemorate the Lahore Resolution on March 23 in 1940. It also marks the adoption of Pakistan’s first constitution in 1956 on the same date.
Speaking to reporters earlier on Friday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that while the Pakistan High Commission’s event in Delhi will be boycotted, no Indian representative will attend similar events in Islamabad as well. “This decision was taken after the Pakistan High Commission decided to invite representatives of the Hurriyat Conference to the reception,” Kumar said.
Kumar said any attempt by the Pakistan High Commission or the Pakistani leadership to engage with the Hurriyat leaderships will not be taken lightly.
In 2018, the reception at the Pakistani embassy was attended by Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Friday said diplomacy and dialogue are indispensable to resolving the long-standing disputes between New Delhi and Islamabad.
“Coercive measure have not worked in the past and they will not work in the future,” Mahmood said at the event at Pakistan High Commission, ANI reported. “A relationship based on sovereign equality, mutual respect and mutual interest is the best guarantee for a peaceful and prosperous future. We do hope the long winter in India-Pakistan relations would come to an early end.”