Imran Khan performs Umrah in Saudi Arabia

Adjust Comment Print

In the letter dated September 14, the cricketer-turned-politician, who became the prime minister last month, proposed a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in NY this month.

The MEA spokesperson further said that it will "just be a meeting, not talks or resumption of dialogue". On Wednesday, the USA specifically said that Pakistan based terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which operate in Kashmir, continue to pose a serious threat to the region.

In an exclusive interview with the Saudi newspaper, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his government will change the way Pakistan has been governed.

Ahead of Khan's visit to Saudi Arabia speculation was rife that Islamabad will be asking for a loan to help Pakistan avoid being forced to seek another International Monetary Fund bailout.

Earlier, in his first interview with a Saudi newspaper after assuming office, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that Pakistan will always stand by Saudi Arabia whenever it faces hard time. "Pakistan and India have an undeniably challenging relationship".

Navjot Sidhu, an Indian cricketer-turned-politician, earlier came under fire after he was filmed hugging Pakistan's army chief at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Such a bailout package might mean that Saudi Arabia would deposit a certain amount in Pakistan's exchequer and provide it the necessary "cushion" to survive the drastic depletion in foreign exchange reserves. "The summit will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process". India has since maintained that talks will be held only if a conducive environment for talks is fostered by Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan has said Imran's letter to PM Modi was written in a "positive spirit", and that the country awaits a formal response from the Indian side.

Sharing intelligence to combat terrorism, strategic working groups have been formed and the two countries have a more inter-dependent security relationship, which remains unaffected by their ties with any other countries. "We are ready to talk on all outstanding issues with India".

Noting the upgrade in relations, thinktank RUSI recently reported that Pak-Saudi relations had entered the "strategic domain where both countries are fine with each in pursuing their own interests independently". He said Siachen and Sir Creek also need close attention to move towards resolution. The Munabao- Khokhrapar train service connects Pakistan's Sindh and India's Rajasthan provinces. Tharoor added that the paradox of India-Pakistan relations is that there is very little problem between Indians and Pakistanis as people.