Ice melts b/w Pakistan&India; Modi felicitates Pakistan on ‘Pakistan Day’

By Our Staff Reporter

Islamabad: As expected, ice is melting between nuclear armed South Asian arch rivals Pakistan and India a few days after Chief of Pakistan’s powerful army said Pakistan was ready to establish peace with India asking Indian authorities to develop an environment favorable for resumption of normal ties.

“We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward,” General Bajwa said in a speech at a conference in Islamabad meant to highlight the Pakistani government’s new security policies last week on Thursday.

Bajwa’s desire for peace in region garnered positive response fron across border as a few days later, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Prime Minister Imran Khan that India also wants cordial relationship with Pakistan.

Sending message of felicitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan in a Pakistan Day message Prime Minister Modi said that his country desires cordial relations with the Pakistani people, it emerged on Tuesday.

The message, dated March 22, was conveyed to Prime Minister Imran by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad through the Foreign Office.

In his letter, Modi extended greetings to the people of Pakistan on occasion of Pakistan Day, which is being celebrated across the country today.
“As a neighbouring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan,” Modi wrote. “For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative.”

Pakistan’s response to Indian Prime Minister’s Felicitation message was not known immediately. However, the development is being seen by many in Pakistan as an excellent move by two sides.

The Indian premier also conveyed wishes to Imran and the Pakistani people for dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, terming it a “difficult time for humanity”.

“Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,” the message concluded.

The development comes days after Prime Minister Imran said India would have to make the first move to normalise ties with Pakistan.

“We are trying, but India would have to take the first step and unless it does that we cannot move ahead,” the premier said while inaugurating the first edition of the Islamabad Security Dialogue.

The perpetually tense relations between the two countries, which have fought three wars, besides engaging in several episodes of limited conflict, suffered a breakdown after India illegally annexed occupied Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

However, the two countries sprung a surprise last month by announcing the resumption of ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) after a ‘hotline contact’ between the directors general of military operations of the two countries. Many believe that agreement was made possible through a backchannel, although Pakistani officials strongly deny it.

No violation has since then been reported at the LoC and importantly there has been a visible reduction in rhetoric from both sides.

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