Pak PM Imran Khan pitches for talks in his letter to PM Modi
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to PM Narendra Modi, while his Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has appealed to his Indian peer S Jaishankar, pitching for talks between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Ties between the two neighbours have remained frayed since the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing that left 40 CRPF personnel dead. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, a UN-listed terror group, has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
Pakistan’s overture comes against the backdrop of the visit of Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood to India on Eid, during which he offered Namaz at Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid. The Minister of External Affairs termed the visit purely “personal”.
Meanwhile, the MEA has rubbished reports of a formal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation next week in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan but a pull aside not ruled out.
“To the best of my knowledge no meeting has been planned between PM Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the SCO Summit in Bishkek,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told WION.
Following the Pulwama attack, India went into overdrive to target Pakistan from multiple fronts. The country’s military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26, prompting a counter-offensive by Pakistan the next day. At the same time, New Delhi worked the diplomatic phone lines to isolate Pakistan internationally.
The first breakthrough came after China allowed the UN to list JeM found Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 26 spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on phone and expressed his desire to work together for peace and prosperity in the region.
Modi on his part called for creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.
India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of talks, maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.