Asia - pacific

Pakistan renews offer for dialogue with India

Pakistani premier answers letter to his Indian counterpart urging resumption of dialogue

Ekip   | 20.09.2018
Pakistan renews offer for dialogue with India

İslamabad

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday renewed its offer for dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Imran Khan sent a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi seeking a resumption of talks between the two nuclear powers.

Khan responded to a letter written by Modi in late August to congratulate Khan on his election as premier of Pakistan.

"PM has responded to PM Modi, in a positive sprit, reciprocating his sentiment. Let's talk and resolve all issues. We await formal response from India," Mohammad Faisal, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, tweeted.

Khan suggested a meeting between foreign ministers of both countries on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York, local broadcaster Geo News reported citing contents of the letter.

Modi in his letter had called for "meaningful and constructive" engagement between Islamabad and New Delhi, Indian daily Times of India reported.

Relations between the two arch-rivals nosedived after India accused Pakistan of having links to gunmen who killed 19 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016.

Islamabad has denied the charge and is currently fighting a case in the International Court of Justice against an alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan.

Since their partition in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two over Kashmir.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

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