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Pakistan's Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, seeks to maintain peaceful neighbourhood

File photo. Photograph:( Agencies )

WION New Delhi, India Jun 07, 2019, 10.01 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick , Sidhant Sibal

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi while it's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has written to his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, pitching for talks between New Delhi and Islamabad. 

According to Pakistan government sources, the letters underscored Pakistan's consistent policy of peaceful neighbourhood and the vision of working for durable peace and stability in South Asia.

Adding further, the sources said letter emphasised on 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 letter also called for the need to advance the goals of regional peace, progress and prosperity through collective endeavours was also underscored.

Ties between the two neighbouring countries have remained frayed since the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing that left 40 CRPF personnel dead. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a United Nations-listed terror group, has claimed the responsibility for the attack

Pakistan's overture comes against the backdrop of the visit of Pakistan 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 rejected the reports of a formal meeting between PM Modi and his counterpart Imran Khan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) 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 chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Imran Khan on May 26 spoke to PM 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.

Story highlights

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 and Kashmir conflict.