Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi seeking dialogue, The Express Tribune reported on Friday, quoting diplomatic sources. In the letter, Khan congratulated Modi once again for his victory in the Lok Sabha elections, and sought talks to resolve Kashmir and other outstanding matters.
“PM Imran wrote that peace and prosperity in the region could only be achieved through peace and stability and it was necessary to work together for this purpose,” The Express Tribune reported. The Pakistan prime minister told Modi that “mutual respect” was essential for regional development, and that poverty could be overcome only through dialogue.
The letter arrived through diplomatic channels about two days ago, The Indian Express reported, quoting officials in India. Khan also said Pakistan follows a policy of peaceful neighbourhood.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also wrote to his new Indian counterpart S Jaishankar, congratulating him on his appointment. The daily said Qureshi told Jaishankar that Islamabad wanted talks with New Delhi on “all important matters” and was committed to peace in South Asia.
Khan had called up Modi on May 26, three days after the prime minister’s Bharatiya Janata Party returned to power with a resounding majority, and congratulated him. On May 23, Khan had posted a congratulatory tweet, and also expressed his willingness to work with Modi for the progress of South Asia.
However, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had clarified on Thursday that Modi and Khan do not plan to hold a bilateral meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek. The annual summit will be held on June 13 and 14. Speculation about the bilateral meeting had started after Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, who has also been the country’s envoy to India, reached New Delhi late on Tuesday on a private visit.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also denied that former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Qureshi met last month in Bishkek during a summit of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s member countries.