Saturday 8 June 2019 2:45 AM UTC
NEW DELHI June 8: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he wants talks to resolve all reconcilable problems, including the Kashmir issue, a Pakistani media report said on Friday.
The report came a day after India said there will be no bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of a regional summit in Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek next week.
Congratulating him on his second term as the prime minister of India, Mr Khan said talks between the two nations was the only solution to help both countries’ people overcome poverty and that it was important to work together for regional development, Geo TV reported.
Mr Khan said Pakistan desires the resolution of all problems, including that of the Kashmir issue, it said.
India has not yet reacted to the report.
This is the second time after PM Modi was re-elected to power that the Pakistani premier has expressed his desire to work together with India for the betterment of their peoples.
Over the last few years, India has refused any initiative for talks, contending that cross-border terror has to stop before talks can begin.
However, talks about a possible meeting between the two prime ministers at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek due started gaining momentum after Imran Khan called PM Modi to congratulate him for his landslide victory in the general elections. The foreign ministry said PM Modi had thanked Imran Khan for his phone call and greetings.
Relations with Pakistan – wobbling since the terror strike at Uri in 2016 – took a nosedive after a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14. Days later, India conducted air-strikes on a Jaish camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26.
The Pakistan Air Force struck back, targeting civilian and military installations in India and captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
In April, Imran Khan was quoted as saying that he saw a better chance of peace talks with India if PM Modi’s BJP won the elections. The cricketer-turned-politician had said if the next government in India were led by the Congress party, it might be “too scared” to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir, fearing a backlash.
The BJP swept the crucial national elections and decimated the Congress by winning 303 seats alone, surpassing its massive 282 seat win of 2014.
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