He wrote a letter to congratulate Modi on election win
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a letter to PM Narendra Modi, said that Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi to resolve all reconcilable problems, including the Kashmir issue.
This comes a day after India said Modi is not scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of an upcoming regional summit despite both leaders exchanging warm words following Modi’s landslide re-election last month.
Modi and Pakistan’s Imran Khan will travel to Kyrgyzstan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet next week, but Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had told reporters that no “bilateral meeting” between the two was being planned.
New Delhi has suspended bilateral dialogue with Islamabad since 2016 over its alleged support to militant groups in the Kashmir region that is divided between the two countries and a longstanding territorial dispute.
In the letter, PM Khan congratulates PM Modi on his second term as the Prime Minister of India. He also said talks between the two nations were the only solution to help both countries’ people overcome poverty and that it was important to work together for regional development.
The letter, The Indian Express reported, was sent through diplomatic channels two days ago.
Imran Khan said Pakistan desires the resolution of all problems, including that of the Kashmir issue.
This is the second time after 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.
Foreign Minister Shah Memhmood Qureshi, too, sent a letter to India addressed to new Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar where he congratulated him and maintained similar views as the Pakistani premier.
Relations nosedived in February, with India launching an air strike inside Pakistan after accusing its neighbour of harbouring a group that staged a suicide bomb attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir.
Pakistan launched its own raid the next day and later shot down an Indian fighter jet and captured its pilot, taking the arch-rivals to the brink of war.
Tensions have calmed since, with PM Khan saying in April that a Modi win at the polls could help settle the Kashmir showdown and his government has repeatedly stated it is open to dialogue.
Both India and Pakistan became members of the SCO in 2017, joining the forum founded in 2001 by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.