Modi expresses India’s commitment to build good relations with Pakistan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 20, 2018 Published on August 20, 2018

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.   -  PTI

Congratulates Imran Khan on assuming charge as Prime Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter to the new Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has expressed India’s commitment to build good neighbourly relations between the two countries and pursue meaningful and constructive engagement for benefiting the people of the region.

“Prime Minister wrote to the new PM of Pakistan, Imran Khan, on August 18 congratulating him on his assumption of charge. He expressed the belief that the smooth transition of government in Pakistan would strengthen and cement people’s belief in democracy,” according to sources in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Khan -- Pakistan's cricket star-turned-politician -- was sworn in as Prime Minister on Saturday. His Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the most seats in the national elections (but did not have absolute majority) in July amid accusations by Opposition parties that security services intervened on his behalf in the elections.

Modi, in his letter, recalled the telephone conversation he had with Khan last month in which they spoke of their shared vision to bring peace, security and prosperity in the Indian sub-continent, to make it free of terror and violence and to focus on development.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Vice-Chairman and the country’s new Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in his first press conference in Pakistan on Monday after assuming power, is reported to have said that Modi, in his letter to Khan, indicated the beginning of talks between the two countries.

“Us coming to the table and talking peace is our only option. We need to stop the adventurism and come together. We know the issues are tough and will not be solved overnight, but we have to engage," said Qureshi, according to news reports from Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister added that there were outstanding issues between the two countries and Kashmir was a reality. "We need a continued and uninterrupted dialogue. This is our only way forward," Qureshi reportedly said.

India-Pakistan relations have been rocky and bilateral talks have almost come to a standstill since the violence at the Line of Control in 2013.

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Published on August 20, 2018
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