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Pakistan’s Imran Khan offers a TV debate with PM Modi to resolve issues

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date
Pakistan’s Imran Khan offers a TV debate with PM Modi to resolve issues

Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he would like to have a televised debate with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to resolve differences between the two nations.

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“I would love to debate with Narendra Modi on TV,” Imran Khan told Russia Today in an interview, adding that it would be beneficial for the billion-plus people in the Indian subcontinent if differences could be resolved through debate.

The Ministry of External Affairs has not immediately responded to the remarks by Imran Khan. Since attaining independence 75 years ago, relations have been strained between India and Pakistan and both countries have fought three wars since.

The Narendra Modi government has made it clear to Pakistan that “terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand” and demanded a crackdown on terror groups.

After the government abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan stopped all trade ties. Both sides have also downsized their diplomatic missions.

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“India became a hostile country, thus commerce with them became minimal,” Imran Khan said while underscoring that his government’s aim was to maintain trade links with all countries.

Recently, Pakistan’s top commercial official, Razzak Dawood, told journalists that he supported trade ties with India, which would benefit both sides.

Pakistan’s regional trading options are already constrained, PM Imran Khan said, with Iran under US sanctions and Afghanistan embroiled in a decades-long conflict.

Pakistan has extensive economic relations with its northern neighbour, China, which has pledged billions of dollars for infrastructure and other projects as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

Khan’s interview occurred on the day of his trip to Moscow, where he will meet President Vladimir Putin – the first visit to Russia by a Pakistani leader in two decades.

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The two-day visit for business cooperation talks was arranged prior to the current Ukraine situation.

On the Ukraine crisis, PM Imran Khan said, “This doesn’t concern us, we have a bilateral relation with Russia and we really want to strength it.”

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