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India's Modi pens goodwill letter to Imran Khan

Talks between India and Pakistan are taking place in Delhi [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 March, 2021

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Narendra Modi has written to Imran Khan as relations between the two countries continue to thaw.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to his Pakistan counterpart with a message of goodwill, as relations between the two countries continue to improve, according to reports by Reuters.

Modi's letter to Khan arrived in Pakistan on 23 March, Pakistan's Republic Day, and marks an effort to ease tensions and point to a reconciliation. 

Pakistan and India have a long history of animosity and conflict, which dates back to their independence in 1947, but in more recent years, forays by each nation's military jets have further ramped up tensions. 

"As a neighbouring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan," wrote Modi. 

"For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative," he continued. 

Prior to the sending of this letter, the militaries of the two nations, last month, released a joint statement announcing a ceasefire along a border in Kashmir, that was highly disputed and had been the subject of a number of exchanges of gunfire.

Following the announcement of the ceasefire, the chief of Pakistan’s army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, declared that the two sides should "bury the past and move forward".

The letter was welcomed in Pakistan, with senior Pakistani minister Asad Umar tweeting his support. 

"PM @narendramodi message of goodwill on 23rd march is a welcome step. From the day he became PM @ImranKhanPTI has been expressing his desire for a peaceful south asia with relationships with all our neighbour's based on mutual respect & peace coexistence," he wrote.

Read more: Why India's BJP is shutting down Islamic schools in Assam

Both India and Pakistan have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, a point that was highlighted by Modi in his letter. 

"At this difficult time for humanity, I would like to convey my best wishes to you and the people of Pakistan for dealing with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic," wrote Modi. 

India and Pakistan are currently holding talks in Delhi regarding water sharing rights.

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