Pakistan PM Imran Khan: Will extend hand of friendship to India again after 2019 Lok Sabha elections
Updated:  Oct 23, 2018, 09:00 AM
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan while speaking at an event in Riyadh said India has 'rebuffed' his peace talks offer as relationship between the two countries would be an election issue in 2019. He added he would extend 'hand of friendship' to India after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
State-run Radio Pakistan quoted Imran Khan, "Peace with India would help the two countries to divert their resources towards human development instead of indulging in arms race." The Pakistani Prime Minister wrote to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August after assuming power, suggesting a meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.
India accepted the proposal, but within hours of its acceptance, terrorists killed three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir, prompting New Delhi to cancel the foreign ministers' meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA. Pakistani newspaper published in a report citing the prime minister, "He (Khan) attributed this (cancellation) to anti-Pakistan rhetoric raking in votes in India."
The distress between the two countries increased after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India's surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. After winning the election Pakistani PM expressed his willingness to improve Pakistan's ties with India and said that his government would like the leaders of the two sides to resolve all disputes, including the "core issue" of Kashmir, through talks.
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