New Delhi: India desires cordial relations with Pakistan but an atmosphere of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is “imperative” for it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a letter to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan. PM Modi wrote the letter to Mr Khan to extend greetings to the people of that country on the occasion of Pakistan Day.
“As a neighboring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan. For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative,” he said. Government sources said it is a routine letter sent every year. PM Modi also conveyed his best wishes to Mr Khan and the people of Pakistan in dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. There have been indications of positive movement in ties between India and Pakistan.
Last month, the Indian and Pakistani armies recommitted themselves to the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. On Monday, a delegation of Pakistani officials arrived in India for a meeting of the permanent Indus commission. It is the first such dialogue in over two-and-a-half years.
Last week, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India desires good neighborly ties with Pakistan and is committed to addressing issues, if any, bilaterally but added that any meaningful dialogue can only be held in a conducive atmosphere. He said the onus is on Islamabad to create such an atmosphere. The relations between the two countries nosedived after India withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories in 2019.
Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution on March 23 1940 when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate nation for the Muslims of India. It is learnt that a separate message was sent by President Ram Nath Kovind to his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi.