Clarifying the controversy that broke out when Pakistan media said that Prime Minister Modi is ready to hold talks with the Pakistan PM Imran Khan and has written to him, the Ministry of External Affairs has released a statement that the PM only responded to the congratulatory letters as a diplomatic practice. MEA said that PM Modi has highlighted that though India seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence, and hostility.
On June 20, releasing an official statement, the MEA said the following:
In response to queries regarding replies to congratulatory messages by PM and FM of Pakistan, the Official Spokesperson said:
'As per the established diplomatic practice, PM and EAM have responded to the congratulatory messages received from their counterparts in Pakistan. In their messages, they have highlighted that India seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan.
In his message, PM said "For this, it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility." EAM also emphasized the need for an 'atmosphere free from the shadow of terror and violence'.
This comes after Pakistan media said that Prime Minister Modi has responded to the congratulatory letters of Imran Khan and Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and said that New Delhi wished for peace and development in South Asia and beyond.
Even as the Indian side clarified that there will be no talks between the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of SCO summit, Pakistan has urged India for talks. While in Bishkek, for the two-day SCO Summit, Imran Khan told Radio Pakistan in an interview that there is no way the two countries should think of resolving issues through military means. He reiterated that both New Delhi and Islamabad should come to the negotiating table to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Responding to a question on whether Pakistan is seeking international mediation in improving bilateral ties with India, Khan said that Islamabad is looking for mediation as it believes that "progress comes with peace and tensions with neighbours detract from resources that can be spent on human beings."
Tensions between India and Pakistan strained further following the deadly February 14 Pulwama terror attack. New Delhi has remained rooted in its stand, saying that terror and talks with Islamabad cannot go together.
India had already clarified that there would be no bilateral meeting between the two leaders. This comes despite the Pakistan Prime Minister writing a letter to Modi recently, saying Islamabad wants dialogue with New Delhi to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries. Moreover, Modi's chartered plane did not take the Pakistani air space for flying to Bishkek and instead flew via the circuitous route through Oman and Iran.