NEW DELHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Friday evening, where he invited Modi to visit Pakistan, the India Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Twitter.
Swarup said that the two leaders welcomed the recent developments in bilateral ties between India and Pakistan, and hoped that these would lead to closer cooperation.
But earlier today, PTI Central Information Secretary Shireen Mazari had said on Twitter that party chief Imran Khan is in India on the invitation of India Today and ‘a meeting may also take place with Indian PM on latter’s invitation.’
In a statement, advisor Naeem ul Haque had said the Indian premier and Pakistani politician will discuss “matters of mutual interest”.
Later, Mazari confirmed that Imran Khan will be meeting Indian PM before speaking at the India Today conference.
The PTI chairman left for New Delhi earlier today on a two-day visit to attend a conference on Indo-Pak relations. The event is being hosted by India Today, according to a tweet by the PTI’s official account.
A PTI official told media Khan is accompanied by party leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Naeemul Haq.
Imran calls for resuming cricket ties
Later in the evening, Imran Khan appeared in an India Today show alongside former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev.
Speaking to the audience, Imran Khan said during his meeting with the Indian PM, he also urged for resumption of cricket ties with Pakistan.
“I had supported South Africa’s boycott by the cricketing world during the apartheid era because it was about human rights violation,” said the PTI chief.
When asked what Modi’s response was on resuming cricket ties, Imran said: “He (Modi) only smiled and I cannot figure out if it was a yes or no.”
Imran was of the view that any move that can improve bilateral relations between Pakistan and India, such as a cricket series, should be adopted.
“People to people contacts increase and you get mutual heroes, like Sachin Tendulkar is a hero in Pakistan,” Imran Khan said.
The meeting between Imran and Modi comes days after Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad and held meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PM’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
The two sides greed to reinitiate the comprehensive dialogue process to discuss all outstanding issues including terrorism and Kashmir.
They noted the successful talks on terrorism and security related issues in Bangkok by the two National Security Advisers and decided that the security advisers will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism.
Pakistan assured the Indian side that the government is taking steps being to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trials.
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