New Delhi (Sputnik) — India and Pakistan have both denied reports of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi having extended an invitation for peace talks to Pakistan's newly elected counterpart Imran Khan.
The Foreign Minister had not stated that "the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue", but had said that the Indian Prime Minister in his letter to Prime Minister, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, had also mentioned something similar to what the Foreign Minister had elucidated earlier i.e. that the way forward was only through constructive engagement," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry clarified in a statement.
Pakistan Foreign Ministry Clarification— Rishikesh Kumar (@rishhikesh) August 20, 2018
Foreign Minister had not stated that "the Indian PM had made an offer of a dialogue", But had mentioned something similar to what the Foreign Minister elucidated earlier i.e. that the way forward was only through constructive engagement.
"Pakistan looks forward to a mutually beneficial, uninterrupted dialogue with India to resolve all issues. Any attempts to instigate controversy and vitiate the environment are counterproductive and against the spirit of responsible journalism," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry added.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, an Indian foreign ministry official confirmed that Modi wrote to Imran Khan on Saturday and "expressed India's commitment to build good neighborly relations between India and Pakistan and pursue meaningful and constructive engagement for the benefit of the people of the region."
The new PM must be given a chance to live up to the expectations of the people and fulfil his promises especially on better relations between India & Pakistan…— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) August 20, 2018
#india #pakistan Pakistan COAS meets Indian cricket star attending PM oath. I asked Sidhu what words were exchanged between them He said ur COAS is a wonderful person and I requested for our visit to nankana sahb COAS said more then welcome And this touched my heart 🇵🇰🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/pbZU8dVwcE
— jasmeen manzoor (@jasmeenmanzoor) August 18, 2018
Imran Khan had reciprocated by saying that Pakistan was ready to respond positively to any effort at a dialogue.
"If India comes and takes one step toward us, we will take two," 65 years old Imran Khan said.
Immediately after the election victory, Khan stated that Kashmir is the "core" issue between the two countries underscoring the need for resolution through dialogue.
"I am a person who arguably knows the most people in India because of my days in cricket. We can resolve the poverty crisis in South East Asia. The biggest problem is Kashmir," Khan had said.
However, in his first address to the nation on Sunday, the Pakistani Prime Minister skipped mentioning Kashmir altogether.
To move forward Pakistan and India must dialogue and resolve their conflicts incl Kashmir: The best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue and start trading https://t.co/V2UkXp0WwS— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 21, 2018