Pakistan PM Imran Khan tried to contact Narendra Modi several times but in vain. Khan called Modi thrice but received no response. According to the Pakistani media, Khan wanted to inform Modi about his decision to release the captured Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan.
A message had been sent to the Prime Minister House in New Delhi for a telephonic conversation between the respective premieres of both the countries. However, there was no response from India. Over the past couple of days, Khan has been advocating for talks and dialogue.
During a Pakistani parliamentary session, Khan announced his decision to release the captive Indian pilot as a ‘peace gesture’. He maintained that Pakistan desired peace and stability in the region “as it is essential for the government’s efforts to pull the people out of poverty and attract investment.” Khan said he has only been trying to reach out to India ‘for the sake of peace in the region’.
He also acknowledged the fact that India was not maintaining good ties with Pakistan as it was not on Modi-led government’s priority because of the upcoming elections. “It was not in Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) manifesto. We decided to wait until after India’s general elections. We opened up the Kartarpur Corridor as a positive gesture but we feared misadventures.” Khan said within half an hour of the Pulwama terror attack, India blamed Pakistan.
“We had Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visiting Islamabad. Why would we sabotage an importance conference? What could we gain from it?” he questioned and added that Pakistan has offered India complete cooperation in the investigation and has also asked for credible intelligence. The Pakistani prime minister also made it clear that ‘Pakistan’s efforts for deescalation should not be considered as its weakness’.
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