ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s prime minister has responded to a recent peace overture from his Indian counterpart, writing in a letter to Narendra Modi that Islamabad also desires peaceful relations with New Delhi, officials said Tuesday.
The exchange of letters between the two men was seen as a sign of easing tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors.
Imran Khan’s letter was dispatched to Modi a day ago, according to two government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government policy. They said Khan in Monday’s letter called for the resolution of the dispute over the Kashmir region and all other outstanding issues between the two sides.
“The people of Pakistan also desire peaceful, cooperative relations with all neighbours, including India. We are convinced that durable peace and stability in South Asia is contingent upon resolving all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, in particular, the Jammu & Kashmir dispute,” Khan wrote in the letter.
He also conveyed his best wishes to India in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Khan’s move came in response to a recent overture from Modi. The Indian premier in a letter congratulated Khan on his country’s annual Pakistan Day, which commemorates March 23, 1940. On that day, the Muslim leadership in the eastern city of Lahore demanded independence from British rule.
The disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety. The two countries have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.