While India celebrates its 66th Republic Day -- with a high-profile official visit by the US president -- just weeks after trading heavy crossfire on its borders with Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif got his words across with a letter of felicitations for his Indian counterpart.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has written a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, expressing his desire to forge "friendly and cooperative" relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Felicitating, on behalf of people and government of Pakistan, Modi and the people of India on their 66th Republic Day, the prime minister wrote, “It is our sincere wish to forge relations between our two countries.”
Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to developing friendly relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality, respect and common interests, the premier said that Pakistan believes that both countries can work together for the well being of people of countries, development and attainment of common goal of peaceful and prosperous region.
“I avail myself of this opportunity to you, and for the happiness and prosperity of the people of Indian,” Nawaz wrote.
The year kicked off with an escalation in deadly border violations, with two soldiers being killed in cross-border firing with Indian border guards near the Sialkot working boundary on January 1, spurring a ‘strong’ protest from Islamabad.
Islamabad has blamed New Delhi for ceasefire violations along the LoC and working boundary in a bid to distract its security forces from the ongoing fight against terrorism.
A constant blame game and trust-deficit has prevented the two nuclear neighbors from normalising bilateral ties despite a promising start last year when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi.
Furthermore, India abruptly cancelled high-level talks with Pakistan last year after the Pakistani high commissioner was seen meeting Hurriyat leaders in India.
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