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Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, says Pakistan ready to restart dialogue on trade, religion, terrorism

Both the countries have not engaged in any dialogue since 2015. The newly-elected PM of Pakistan said the country was "ready to discuss terrorism".

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | September 20, 2018 | Updated 16:47 IST
Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, says Pakistan ready to restart dialogue on trade, religion, terrorism

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said Pakistan is ready to restart the stalled talks with India on issues such as trade, religion and terrorism.

Acknowledging challenges in relationships between India and Pakistan, Imran said both the countries owe it to the future generations to peacefully resolve all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The Pakistan PM's letter dated September 14 addresses PM Modi as 'Modi Saheb', and calls for discussions on trade, people-to-people contacts, religion tourism, and humanitarian issues.

Both the countries have not engaged in any dialogue since 2015. The newly-elected PM of Pakistan said the country was "ready to discuss terrorism". He said Siachen and Sir Creek also need close attention to move towards resolution.

The Pakistan Prime Minister also proposed a meeting between its Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj before the informal meeting of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) foreign ministers on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York.

"They can explore the forward, especially the holding of the SAARC Council of Ministers followed by the SAARC Summit in Islamabad," said Imran. Inviting the Indian PM to Pakistan, Imran Khan said the summit will offer an "opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to re-start the stalled dialogue process".

He said he endorsed PM Modi's sentiments of seeking "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," he wrote.

After his victory in Pakistan Parliamentary elections and subsequent assuming of Prime Minister's Office on August 20, PM Modi had congratulated Imran and hoped that democracy would take deeper roots in the neighbouring country.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan has said Imran's letter to PM Modi was written in a "positive spirit", and that the country awaits a formal response from the Indian side. "PM has responded to PM Modi, in a positive spirit, reciprocating his sentiments. Let's talk and resolve all issues. We await a formal response from India," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal tweeted.

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