August 22, 2018
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweeted once again invite India to dialogue and pursue peace, terming it the “best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent.”
The tweets, which included a note of gratitude to longtime friend Navjot Singh Sidhu for attending PM Khan’s inauguration on a special invitation, reiterated the new prime minister’s belief that “without peace our people cannot progress.”
Addressing sections of the Indian media, politicians and civil society who have been criticising Sidhu for visiting Pakistan, PM Khan said: “Those in India who targeted him [Sidhu] are doing a great disservice to peace in the subcontinent.”
“He was an ambassador of peace and was given amazing love and affection by people of Pakistan,” the prime minister wrote.
“To move forward, Pakistan and India must dialogue and resolve their conflicts, including Kashmir,” the premier was quoted as saying.
“The best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue and start trading.”
The incumbent regime had also extended an olive branch to India a day earlier, when newly-appointed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had made clear that he would pursue dialogue with the neighbouring rival as a way forward.
“Us coming to the table and talking peace is our only option. We need to stop the adventurism and come together. We know the issues are tough and will not be solved overnight, but we have to engage,” Qureshi had said. “We cannot turn our cheek. Yes we have outstanding issues. Kashmir is a reality; it is an issue that both our nations acknowledge.”
“We need a continued and uninterrupted dialogue. This is our only way forward,” he had stressed.
“We may have a different approach and line of thinking, but I want to see a change in how we behave,” he had added. “India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them.”
The new foreign minister had also dismissed fears that attempts to mend fences with India will be met with resistance from the so-called ‘establishment’.
“There are pre-conceived notions about where the foreign policy of Pakistan was formulated,” he said yesterday.
“Let me be clear: the foreign policy will be made here ─ at the Foreign Office of Pakistan.”
“I will engage with all the institutions for the betterment of the country,” he said, adding: “It is the policy across the world. Feedback is sought from national security institutions.”