By Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam | Reuters
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 30 March 2021
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday replied to a letter written by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, and said Islamabad desires peaceful relations with New Delhi, an official source told Reuters.
Modi had written to Khan on the occasion of Pakistan’s Republic Day on 23 March, also calling for peaceful relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Dated 29 March, the letter wasn’t officially released by either side but the official, speaking on anonymity, confirmed its contents which were shared widely on social media.
“The people of Pakistan also desire peaceful, cooperative relations with all neighbours, including India,” Khan said in his reply, adding, “I thank you for your letter conveying greetings on Pakistan Day.”
Neither the Indian or Pakistani foreign ministries responded to requests for comment.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper quoted Modi’s letter on 23 March, Modi as saying that “India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan” and “for this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative.”
India and Pakistan have fought three wars and have shared a fractious relationship since the two gained independence in 1947, and in 2019 tensions rose dramatically as they sent combat planes into each other’s territory.
Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called on both the nations to bury the past after the militaries of both countries released a rare joint statement last month announcing a ceasefire along a disputed border in Kashmir.