Srinagar: Newly-appointed Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Indian Prime Minister Narendar Modi called for dialogue in a letter to Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pak media reports said on Monday.
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to PM Imran Khan in which he indicated the beginning of talks between the two countries,” as per reports, Qureshi said while speaking at the Pak Foreign Office.
“India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them,” he asserted.
The foreign minister stressed, “There is a need for continued and uninterrupted dialogue with India.”
Qureshi also directly addressed his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, and said, “I want to tell the Indian foreign minister that we are not just neighbours; we are atomic powers. We have a lot of common resources. We have long-standing issues, both of us know these problems. But we have no other option but to engage in dialogue. We cannot afford adventurism.”
“These issues are complicated and we may face hurdles in resolving them, but we must engage. We will have to admit that we are facing problems, we must admit that Kashmir is a reality. The Islamabad declaration is a part of our history,” he added.
“We may have a different approach and line of thinking, but I want to see a change in how we behave,” the newly-appointed foreign minister said.
Qureshi also said he intends to contact his Afghan counterpart and pay a visit to Kabul. “I want to go with a solid message for the people of Afghanistan. The two countries share a future and geography, and we have to work together and begin our long journey.”
Regarding the US, Qureshi said, “I have worked with the US in the past and I have worked with Richard Holbrooke, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.”
“I know about their concerns and their priorities. I will speak to them in a straight forward manner, I will tell them that we too have our priorities, our nation has some aspirations. I will tell them that bilateral relations will operate on the basis of equality,” he said.
“We know that there will be obstructions and hurdles in our way, but we are determined,” the foreign minister continued.
The Pak foreign minister also shared, “An important event is coming up; the UN assembly where I will be representing Pakistan and where we have to present Pakistan’s case to the world.”