Imran Khan raises Kashmir issue in phone call with Sheikh Hasina

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday briefed Bangladesh leader Sheikh Hasina about the Kashmir issue, Pakistan’s official news agency has reported.

During a telephonic conversation, Mr. Khan discussed the coronavirus (COVID-19) scenario and assured the Prime Minister of Bangladesh that his country wished to have bilateral ties with Dhaka based on sovereign equality.

Safe region

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, Mr. Khan invited Ms. Hasina to visit Islamabad and drew attention to the situation in Kashmir and “stressed the importance of peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for a safe and prosperous region”. Dhaka’s official news agencies have, however, maintained silence on the Kashmir issue.

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“The Pakistan Premier phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at around 1 p.m. and wanted to know from her about the coronavirus situation in Bangladesh and how her government is combating the deadly disease,” Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told official news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sanstha.

This was the second phone call in a year from Mr. Khan, who had earlier discussed the regional situation with Ms. Hasina before she arrived on an official visit to Delhi in October 2019, two months after India ended the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.

Subsequently, to deal with public anger after India stopped export of onion, Bangladesh turned to Pakistan and other countries for supplies.

Fight against virus

During Tuesday’s discussion, Mr. Khan also expressed Pakistan’s condolences regarding the loss of lives in Bangladesh because of the pandemic and praised Ms. Hasina’s initiatives to counter the spread of the disease.

He also sought Dhaka’s support to maintain the spirit of regional cooperation under the umbrella of SAARC.

The conversation was held weeks after Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen hosted Pakistan’s High Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui in the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka.

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