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Imran Khan ready to talk peace to Modi: Pakistan Foreign Minister


IANS  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to talk to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi over telephone "to extend an invitation of peace", Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday.

Qureshi also said that Pakistan was willing to consider returning an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot it is holding since Wednesday if it leads to de-escalation of tensions between the two countries.

The Minister told Geo News: "Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to talk to Narendra Modi on the telephone and ready to extend an invitation of peace. Is Modi ready?"

He added: "I have just received the (Indian) dossier (on the Pulwama terror attack) and have not gotten the chance to examine it... I will still say that we will see and examine the dossier with an open heart.

"I wish they (India) would have sent this dossier earlier. They attacked first and then sent the dossier. If they would have sent the dossier first and sought Pakistan's answer, there would be no need for an attack.

"If there is de-escalation with the return of this (Indian) pilot, Pakistan is willing to consider this. We are ready for all positive engagement," he said amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan since a JeM suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF troopers on February 14.

Asserting that Pakistan had been calling for peace since day one, Qureshi said: "If India wants to talk about terrorism, then we are ready.

"You (India) want to risk regional stability for politics," he said, in an apparent reference to upcoming parliamentary elections in India. "It could be the need of but history will not forgive you."

Qureshi asked: "God forbid there is a war, Pakistan will be affected but will India's economy not suffer?"

The Minister added that the Saudi Foreign Minister was departing for Pakistan.

He also welcomed US President Donald Trump's statement on Pakistan-India tensions.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, February 28 2019. 15:20 IST