Pakistan backtracks after claims of PM Modi’s talks offer in letter to Imran Khan

21 August 2018, 12:24 AM
Pakistan backtracks after claims of PM Modi’s talks offer in letter to Imran Khan
Pakistan backtracks after claims of PM Modi’s talks offer in letter to Imran Khan

Eating its own words, Pakistan on Monday clarified that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t “make an offer of a dialogue” in a letter to his newly sworn in Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan. The clarification from Pakistan’s Foreign Office came in response to a question regarding the reports in a section of Indian media that Modi wants "uninterrupted" talks between the two ‘not so friendly’ neighbours.

A Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said that the new Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had not stated that “the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue”. Instead, he had said that Modi, in his letter to Khan, had mentioned that “the way forward was only through constructive engagement”.

Speaking at the Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad hours after being sworn in, Qureshi had said, "India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them.”

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“We need a continued and uninterrupted dialogue. This is our only way forward,” he said, adding that Modi has written a letter to Khan and indicated the beginning of talks between the countries.

The spokesperson also said that former Pakistani law minister Ali Zafar had a “positive and constructive” meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during his visit to India on August 18 to attend the funeral of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The FO said Pakistan looks forward to a mutually beneficial, uninterrupted dialogue with India to resolve all issues.

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“Any attempts to instigate controversy and vitiate the environment are counterproductive and against the spirit of responsible journalism,” the spokesman said.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Monday, August 20, 2018 08:40 PM
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