PM Modi calls Sharif, extends Ramzan wishes, assures to free Pak fishermen

PM Modi calls Sharif, extends Ramzan wishes, assures to free Pak fishermen

New Delhi: In an attempt to break the ice with his Pakistani counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called Nawaz Sharif and extended his wishes on the occasion of Ramzan while stressing the need for having “peaceful” and “friendly” bilateral ties amid a war of words between the two countries.

As per news channel reports, PM Modi made a phone call to Nawaz Sharif today and discussed issues related to Indo-Pak relations.

In his telephonic conversation, Modi also conveyed to Sharif India’s decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on the “pious” occasion of Ramzan.

PM Modi spoke to Nawaz Sharif for five minutes, the reports stated.

“He reiterated to Prime Minister Sharif his message of peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries,” said an official release.

The release further said, “He conveyed the good wishes for the holy month of Ramadan to them and their people. He expressed hope for peace, tranquility and harmony in their countries and in the region during this month of piety and prayers.”

Meanwhile, PM took to Twitter and said that he has spoken to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Bangladesh PM Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan PM, to wish them on the start of holy Ramadan on June 18.

In his conversation with Hasina, Modi thanked her for his “successful visit” to Bangladesh and the “extraordinary hospitality, friendship and goodwill that he received from the people and government of the country.

He expressed confidence that the visit has set the stage for a new era in bilateral cooperation and regional partnership between the two countries.

The Prime Minister assured President Ghani of India’s “steadfast commitment” to support Afghanistan in its efforts to build a peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous nation.

In another tweet PM wrote that India has decided to release some detained Pakistani fishermen.

“The fishermen released will be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month,” he further wrote.

During the telephonic conversation, Nawaz Sharif also said that India and Pakistan must put aside differences and work for peace so that the people of the two countries “remember their leaders in good words.”

“Pakistan and India should put wars and differences behind and should go for peace so that people of the two countries should remember their leaders in good words,” PTI quoted Sharif as saying.

“Being neighbours, Pakistan and India should live in peace and not allow the bilateral difference to become a hurdle for it,” Sharid said, according to a statement in Urdu by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office.

Sharif said that being national leaders it was their shared responsibility to seek welfare of their nations.

“Leaders of nations are like heads of their respective families who help their family members to stay clear of disputes for the sake of a peaceful life. They protect the families from troubles and for them the welfare of the family members is always supreme,” Sharif said.

PM’s move comes days after India-Pakistan relations soured over Indian Army’s surgical strike inside Myanmar and Modi’s critical remarks about Pakistan during his Dhaka visit.

After the Myanmar operation, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore warned that the Indian strikes against insurgent camps in Myanmar were a message to all countries, including Pakistan and groups harbouring “terror intent” and that India would strike at a “place and time” of its choosing.

Reacting over India’s statement, Sharif struck a sobering note while the Pakistani parliament stuck to the “old script” by passing resolutions against India amid “shrill exchanges” between the two neighbours.

Sharif had last week attacked the “irresponsible and imprudent” statements from the Indian political leadership and had vowed to protect his country’s “vital interests at all costs”.

Earlier in April, Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz had urged India to start the foreign secretary-level talks for resolving various issues.

Though Indian foreign secretary, S Jaishankar, visited Pakistan on March 3 this year as a goodwill gesture, formal talks are yet to resume.