Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said to Prime Minister Imran Khan that “as a neighbouring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan”.

The above was said in Modi’s Pakistan Day message to the premier, wherein he extended his greetings to the people of Pakistan who celebrated the anniversary of the Lahore Resolution across the country.

The message was conveyed to PM Imran by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad through the Foreign Office (FO).


“For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative,” Modi said in the message. He also sent his wishes to the prime minister and the people of Pakistan, who were facing a “difficult time for humanity” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Modi’s comments come days after Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, speaking during the Islamabad Security Dialogue, said that lasting peace in the sub-continent will remain elusive until the resolution of the Kashmir issue, stressing that it was time for Pakistan and India to “bury the past and move forward”.

The army chief had noted that stable Indo-Pak relations were the key to unlocking the potential of South and Central Asia by ensuring connectivity between East and West Asia.

But this potential has always remained hostage to the disputes and issues between the two “nuclear neighbours”, he said.

“The Kashmir issue is obviously at the heart of this. It is important to understand that without the resolution of Kashmir dispute through peaceful means, [the] process of sub-continental rapprochement will always remain susceptible to derailment due to politically motivated bellicosity.”

“We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward,” he said, adding that the onus for meaningful dialogue rested with India. “Our neighbour will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in occupied Kashmir.”

It is worth mentioning here that recently Bloomberg reported that the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was facilitating the development of a four-step “roadmap for peace” between Pakistan and India.

The report cited the surprise joint statement by directors general of military operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India on February 25, that agreed to end Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire violations (CFVs) as the outcome of the talks brokered by the Emirati government months earlier.

The report also stated that progress on the Pakistan-India “peace” process had been discussed during Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed’s meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during the former’s visit to New Delhi on February 26.