Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday replied to a letter written by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, and said Islamabad desires peaceful relations with New Delhi, an official source told Reuters.
Modi had written to Khan on the occasion of Pakistan’s Republic Day on March 23, calling for peaceful relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
“The people of Pakistan also desire peaceful, cooperative relations with all neighbours, including India,” Khan wrote back.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars and have shared a fractious relationship since the two gained independence from Britain in 1947.
In 2019 tensions rose dramatically as they sent combat planes into each other’s territory and for a while a fourth war looked possible.
Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called on both nations to bury the hatchet after the militaries of both countries released a rare joint statement last month announcing a ceasefire along their disputed border in Kashmir.
However, he stressed that the burden was on India to create a “conducive environment, particularly in Indian-occupied Kashmir”, and said the US had a role to play in ending regional conflicts like this.
Unsettled disputes between the two South Asian nuclear rivals are “dragging this region back to the swamp of poverty and underdevelopment,” said Bajwa.
Pakistan’s army has ruled the country for nearly half of its 73-year existence, and the military has long controlled foreign and security policies.