New Delhi, June 8: In his third outreach to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the general election results, Pakistan PM Imran Khan sent a letter to his Indian counterpart pitching for the resumption of dialogue between the nations. The letter, received through diplomatic channels, comes days before a multilateral summit where both the leaders would be in attendance.
New Delhi has ruled out the possibility of talks between Modi and Khan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, scheduled in Kyrgyz Republic capital Bishkek on June 13-14. Experts, however, claim that Islamabad is using diplomatic channels to convince the Indian side for a brief interaction on sidelines of the event. PM Narendra Modi, Imran Khan Not to Meet at SCO Summit in Bishkek: MEA
According to the Pakistani media, Khan has in his letter congratulated Modi for assuming office for a second term. He reiterated that Pakistan wanted talks to resolve all disputes, including Kashmir and other issues like poverty, Geo News reported. The cricketer-turned-politician reiterated his wish for peace and stability in the South Asian region and underlined that it was important for the two countries to jointly work together for regional development.
India on Thursday ruled out any meeting between Khan and Modi on the sidelines of the upcoming SCO summit. "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 had said at his weekly briefing.
Last month, Khan had congratulated Modi after BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections, and said he was "looking forward to working with him for peace, progress, and progress in South Asia.
"Responding to Khan's message, Modi had said that he has always "given primacy to peace and development in our region."
Ahead of the polls, Khan had said that there might be a better chance of peace talks with India if Modi won the elections. India has, however, stood firm on its stance that terror and talks cannot go together.
Tensions between India and Pakistan soared after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 CRPF soldiers. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit -- Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
On February 26, India launched an airstrike on terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot, in response to the barbaric terror attack in Pulwama. The next day, Pakistan Air Force planes had to attack Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to a dogfight.
A MiG 21 aircraft flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down an F16 fighter plane of Pakistan during the aerial confrontation. Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistani troops after he crossed over, was later released by the Pakistan government as a "peace gesture."
(With ANI inputs)