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India responds to Pakistan’s offer of talks, hopes for ‘environment of trust’

India responds to Pakistan’s offer of talks, hopes for ‘environment of trust’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has responded to an offer to renew diplomatic talks by his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, expressing hope for peace between the two nuclear-armed powers and prosperity on the subcontinent.

The Indian PM finally got around to responding to a letter penned last month by Khan, congratulating Modi and his BJP party on their recent election win. A similar exchange took place between the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers, calling for a de-escalation of tensions between the neighboring powers.

India accepted Khan’s offer of resuming discussions on all matters, including exchanges on terrorism and the disputed Jammu-Kashmir region, according to reports in Pakistani media on the exchange.

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A statement from the Indian government said that the letters “highlighted that India seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan.”

For this, it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility.

Tweeting his congratulations to Modi In May, Khan said he was looking forward to “working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia.” However, in the weeks since his re-election, Modi has refrained from commenting publicly on the possibility of restarting talks with Islamabad.

Khan was not invited to Modi’s inauguration ceremony. However, the two leaders did exchange pleasantries on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Kyrgyzstan last week.

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The diplomatic outreach comes as relations between India and Pakistan are at their worst since the 1999 Kargil War. The latest flare-up occurred in February, after Pakistan-based terrorists killed 40 Indian paramilitary policemen in a suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and Indian and Pakistani fighter jets engaged in dogfights over the region, disputed since 1947.

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