Received a message from PM Modi, tweets Imran Khan on eve of Pakistan National Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his greetings to Imran Khan on the eve of Pakistan National Day on Friday, delivering a message of peace and calling upon people in the sub-continent to work together “in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted the message that he had received from PM Modi.

In this message, according to the Pak PM’s tweet, PM Modi said: “It is time that ppl (people) of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”.

People familiar with developments in New Delhi described Modi’s message as a customary message sent to heads of government or state on national days and noted that the focus was on terrorism.

News of PM Modi’s message came hours after the External Affairs Ministry announced that the government would skip the Pakistan National Day reception held in New Delhi after Islamabad did not get respond to concern over its invitation to Kashmiri separatist Hurriyat Conference representatives.

Also read: India to skip Pakistan national Day event over invite to Hurriyat leaders

No representative of the Indian high commission will also attend the reception to be held in Islamabad on Saturday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a news briefing.

Pakistan Day, which commemorates both the passing of the Lahore Resolution on creating an independent country for the Muslims of British India in 1940 and the adoption of Pakistan’s first Constitution in 1956, is observed every year on March 23. The Pakistani mission in New Delhi decided to organise the reception this year on March 22.

“We are very clear that any attempt by the Pakistan high commission or the Pakistani leadership to engage with the Hurriyat representatives will not be taken lightly and this is what we’ve said in the past as well,” Kumar added.

Since it came to power in 2014, the NDA government has frowned on Pakistan’s efforts to engage the separatist leaders of the Hurriyat. However, it has sent an official representative, usually a minister, to Pakistan Day receptions to which Hurriyat leaders were also invited.

First Published:
Mar 22, 2019 22:19 IST

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