In a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the 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 comes as a response to a letter sent by his Indian counterpart last week where he extended 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 PM Modi’s letter, Khan thanked him and said the people of Pakistan also desire peaceful cooperative relations with all its neighbouring countries, including India.
"I thank you for your letter conveying greetings on Pakistan Day," he said
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 the 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 a 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 terror 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 warplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019, in response to the Pulwama terror attack in 2019 in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
The relations further nosedived after India withdrew the 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".
(With inputs from PTI)
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine