ISLAMABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have both responded to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s letters to them written a few days ago.
A source in the foreign office reported to Pakistani media that both Modi and Jaishankar had ‘responded positively’ to letters written by Prime Minister Khan and Foreign Minister Qureshi in which they had congratulated their Indian counterparts on their electoral victory.
In the response, Modi and Jaishankar stated that India wanted normal relations with all its neighbours including Pakistan and that it wanted to resume dialogue with the country. However, Modi said that it was important for the two countries to first build an environment of trust with one another.
Both said that India wanted fresh and comprehensive talks with Pakistan.
According to a statement by the Indian External Affairs Ministry, Modi said “it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility”. Minister Jaishankar also emphasized the need for an “atmosphere free from the shadow of terror and violence”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, warned the media not to speculate on the correspondence between the two prime ministers and the foreign ministers.
The foreign office said that it was customary diplomatic practice for elected leaders to congratulate their counterparts on assuming office and their replies were the same.
The MoFA said that Pakistan’s stance on the India-Pakistan relations was the same and Islamabad had made it quite clear.
The exchange of letters between the two prime ministers comes after the two met briefly at the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
Khan and Modi shook hands and had a ‘courtesy’ meeting, according to Foreign Minister Qureshi. This was the first interaction between the prime ministers of the nuclear-armed nations after they almost went to war in February, following the Pulwama attack.