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Before meeting Putin, Imran says ready for TV debate with Modi to resolve issues

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that he would like to have a TV debate with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to resolve differences between the two neighboring countries.

Khan made the remarks during an interview with Russia’s state-run television network RT on the eve of his maiden two-day visit to Moscow – the first by a Pakistani premier in over two decades – during which he will hold talks with President Vladimir Putin and review exchange views on major regional and international issues.

“I would love to debate with Narendra Modi on TV,” Khan said in response to a question.

He added that it would be so good for over a billion people of the subcontinent if differences between Pakistan and India could be resolved through a debate.

Responding to a question, Khan said when his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came into power in 2018 he immediately reached out to India and asked the Indian leadership to sit down at the table and resolve the Kashmir issue.

He, however, regretted that India did not respond positively to his overtures.

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after an attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by militant groups based in the neighboring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

The relationship dipped further after India’s warplanes flew deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019, in response to the Pulwama attack in which 40 Indian troops were killed.

The relations deteriorated after India announced withdrawing the special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories in August 2019.

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