ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan received a letter of goodwill from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Tuesday, a Pakistani senior Cabinet minister said, as relations thaw between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars and have shared a fractious relationship since the two gained independence in 1947, and in 2019 tensions rose dramatically as they sent combat planes into each other’s territory.
Asad Umar, a senior Pakistani minister, in a post on Twitter welcomed Modi’s letter, calling it a “message of goodwill”. He added that Khan had already expressed a desire for a peaceful South Asia.
The message from Modi arrived on Pakistan’s Republic Day, March 23, and follows a series of moves and statements signalling rapprochement. The two sides are holding talks on water sharing, with Pakistani officials in Delhi.
Last week, the chief of Pakistan’s influential army called on the two sides to bury the past.
Last month, the militaries of both countries released a rare joint statement announcing a ceasefire along a disputed border in Kashmir, having exchanged fire hundreds of times in recent months.
Neither country’s foreign office immediately responded to requests for comment on the letter.
Indian publication Times of India reported Modi’s letter citing the Press Trust of India news agency.
Quoting from the letter, Pakistani newspaper Dawn said Modi had written that, “India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan” and “for this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative.”
Reuters was unable to independently verify the contents of the letter.
(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam in Islamabad and Mayank Bhardwaj in New Delhi; Editing by Howard Goller)