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Pakistan reiterates offer for dialogue with India

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Friday and congratulated him on assuming charge as the new external affairs minister.

According to diplomatic sources, Qureshi told Jaishankar in the letter that Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on all important matters and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi named Jaishankar as India’s external affairs minister on May 31 as part of a major cabinet shakeup for his second term in office.

He was the top foreign ministry official until his retirement last year. Jaishankar was also an influential adviser to Modi on diplomacy during his first five years in power.

He took over from Sushma Swaraj, the ruling party’s veteran leader and the previous most senior woman in the cabinet. Swaraj underwent a kidney transplant in 2016 and has been beset by poor health.

Modi also named his trusted aide Amit Shah to the key home affairs ministry.

Modi’s 24 cabinet rank ministers and more than 30 deputy ministers were sworn in at the presidential palace on May 30.

Presidents and prime ministers from neighbouring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives were present, but Pakistan was not among those invited.

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