India expresses readiness for dialogue with Pakistan: Pak Foreign Office

Srinagar: India has expressed readiness for dialogue with Pakistan, a source in the Foreign Office (FO) said on Thursday. This was communicated in letters by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to their Pakistani counterparts, Dawn reported.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a letter written to felicitate Modi on assuming office for a second term, had renewed Pakistan’s offer to hold dialogue with India to resolve contentious issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and terrorism, to restore peace in the region, and address the problems confronting the people of the two countries.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also written a letter to the newly appointed Jaishankar and congratulated him on assuming office.

According to the Foreign Office source on Thursday, the letters were received by Pakistan through diplomatic channels on Tuesday. India has positively responded to Pakistan’s offer for talks about peace in the region, expressing readiness for dialogue, they added.

In their response, Modi and Jaishankar wrote about comprehensive and fresh talks between India and Pakistan. They said that India desires normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan, adding that it has always preferred progress and peace of the people, said the source.

The sentiments from Pakistan “were also appreciated in the letters”.

The Indian premier and minister said that India was ready for comprehensive talks with Pakistan and all other countries for the peace and progress of the entire region. They also spoke of having a special focus on terrorism in the talks.

According to a statement by the Indian External Affairs Ministry, shared by the source, Modi said “it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility”. The minister also emphasised the need for an “atmosphere free from the shadow of terror and violence”.

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