Imran writes third letter to India’s Modi, renews call for peace

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has written another letter to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, offering him to work together for durable peace and stability in South Asia and to promote a peaceful neighbourhood.
This is the third consecutive letter by Imran to his Indian counterpart since he took office last year. Soon after taking over the reins in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran had inked a letter to Modi, urging him to resume the dialogue process between the two countries that has been suspended since 2015.
It was PM Modi who had initiated the contact in September 2018, soon after Imran was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan. However, Modi opted not to respond to the offer as elections were approaching in India. Tensions grew further after a militant attack on an Indian army convoy in Pulwama district in Indian-Held Kashmir which led to an escalation between the two countries.
In February-end, Indian Air Force jets pounded Pakistan’s Balakot area claiming it was a surgical strike but all its claims were razed to the ground as no damage was done. Pakistan responded with a similar aerial strike in Indian Occupied Kashmir and downed two Indian Air Force jets who had launched a counter attack. A pilot, Abhinandan, was also captured and later released by Pakistan in a goodwill gesture.
On May 2, Prime Minister Imran wrote another letter to congratulate Premier Modi on his election win, reiterating his offer for reopening dialogue with India.
A senior official at Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that PM Imran had sent a letter to Premier Modi congratulating him on assumption of office and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood had delivered the same in New Delhi.
“Besides Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has also sent a letter addressed to Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. This is in line with established diplomatic norms and inter-state practice. Foreign Secretary delivered these letters in New Delhi earlier this week,” the official said.
Asked to comment over the nature of the communication, the official said the letters underscored Pakistan’s consistent policy of peaceful neighbourhood and the vision of working for durable peace and stability in South Asia with peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues, including the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.
“Pakistan also emphasised the need to work together, on the basis of mutual respect and trust, to address challenges faced by people of both the countries, including poverty and underdevelopment. The need to advance the goals of regional peace, progress and prosperity through collective endeavours was underscored,” the official added.