Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying creation of an “enabling environment” is imperative for a constructive and result-oriented dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, in particular the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
Khan’s letter was in reply to Prime Minister Modi’s letter to him last week to extend greetings on the occasion of Pakistan Day. In his letter, Modi had said that India desires cordial relations with Pakistan but an atmosphere of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is “imperative” for it.
In his reply to Prime Minister Modi’s letter, Khan thanked him and said the people of Pakistan also desire peaceful cooperative relations with all neighbours, including India.
While Prime Minister Modi talked about a terror free environment for peace, Khan said that peace was possible only if outstanding issues like Kashmir were resolved.
“We are convinced that durable peace and stability in South Asia is contingent upon resolving all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan in particular the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he wrote in the letter dated March 29.
Khan said that creation of an “enabling environment is imperative for a constructive and result-oriented dialogue.”
He also expressed best wishes for the people of India in their struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The militaries of India and Pakistan announced on February 25 that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.
Weeks later, both Pakistan’s Prime Minister Khan and powerful Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa made peace overtures towards New Delhi saying it was time for the two neighbours to “bury the past and move forward”.
Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by militant groups based in Pakistan. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.
The ties hit rock bottom after India’s war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in response to the Pulwama militant attack in 2019 in which 40 CRPF Soldiers were killed.
The relations further nosedived after India withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two union territories in 2019. Since then, India and Pakistan are without high commissioners in each other’s capital — New Delhi and Islamabad, respectively.
On March 18, powerful Army chief Bajwa said it was time for India and Pakistan to “bury the past and move forward”.