Amid frosty ties, Imran Khan reiterates need for dialogue with India

Bishkek: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated the need to resolve all outstanding issues with India through dialogue, which, he said, is the only way to sort out differences, amid spiralling tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

Khan, who is in Bishkek for the two-day SCO Summit, told Sputnik in an interview on Thursday that there is no way the two countries should think of resolving issues through military means, reported Radio Pakistan.

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.”

Khan’s comments come at a time when he and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi avoided shaking hands at an informal dinner hosted by Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov for the SCO leaders here.

According to sources, Khan and Modi did not exchange pleasantries during the dinner hosted on the sidelines of the two-day summit.

While Khan is attending the SCO summit for the first time after assuming office last year, this is Modi’s first visit to a multilateral forum after being re-elected for a second term.

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.


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