Shehbaz Sharif Writes To PM Modi, Seeks Peaceful Resolution Of India-Pak Disputes Including J&K

New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written a letter to his Indian counterpart PM Narendra Modi, pitching for “meaningful” engagement.

Shehbaz Sharif sought “peaceful resolution” of all outstanding issues between the two countries, news agency PTI reported people familiar with the development as saying on Sunday.

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As per the PTI report, the newly sworn-in Pakistan Prime Minister’s communication on Saturday was in response to a letter sent by PM Modi congratulating him.

In the letter, Shehbaz Sharif stressed that socio-economic development of the people of the two countries, as well as the region, can be achieved through meaningful India-Pakistan engagement and peaceful resolution of “all outstanding disputes” including that of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Peaceful and cooperative” ties between Pakistan and India are imperative for the socio-economic development of the people of the two countries and the region, he added, as quoted by PTI.

He further mentioned that the goals can be best achieved through “meaningful engagement and peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including the core issue of Jammu & Kashmir.”

In his letter a few days back, PM Narendra Modi conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart that India desired constructive ties with the neighbouring nations.

Sharif in his response stated that Pakistan remains committed to maintaining regional peace and security.

On April 11, the Pakistan parliament selected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif as the 23rd Prime Minister of the country, following Imran Khan‘s ouster from power in a no-confidence vote

In a Twitter post, PM Modi had congratulated Sharif on becoming Pakistan’s Prime Minister and mentioned that India desires peace and stability in a region free of terrorism.

“Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people,” he tweeted on April 11.

In his response, Shehbaz Sharif wrote that Pakistan desires peaceful and cooperative ties with India.

“Thank you Premier Narendra Modi for felicitations. Pakistan desires peaceful & cooperative ties with India. Peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes including Jammu & Kashmir is indispensable. Pakistan’s sacrifices in fighting terrorism are well-known. Let’s secure peace and focus on socio-economic development of our people,” the Pakistan prime minister tweeted.

The ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after the Pulwama terror attack in February 2019 following which, India’s warplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.

In August 2019, the relations further deteriorated after India announced the withdrawal of special powers granted to Jammu and Kashmir, abrogating Article 370. The erstwhile state was the bifurcation into two union territories.

India has maintained that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan but the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment free of terror and hostility for such an engagement.

“The government’s consistent position has been that India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing issues, if any, bilaterally and peacefully in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence,” Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in Parliament on April 7 while replying to a question.

“The onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere,” he added.

(With Agency Inputs)