India is committed to building ties with Pakistan in an environment free from terror and violence, President Pranab Mukherjee said here today. Mukherjee said this in his message to his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain on the eve of their national day tomorrow. “On behalf of the ggvernment, the people of India and on my own behalf, I extend greetings to you and to the friendly people of Pakistan on the occasion of your National Day,” he said. “India is committed to building ties with Pakistan in an environment free from terror and violence,” he said. Mukherjee’s missive comes amid unease in Indo-Pak ties following a series of terrorist attacks on army camps and tension along the border due to frequent ceasefire violations.
The last official dialogue between the two countries was held in December 2015 when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Islamabad and the two sides decided to resume comprehensive talks. However, the thaw was short-lived as Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group struck at strategically located Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on January one last year. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited Islamabad in 2016 to attend the SAARC Interior Ministers Conference but there was no bilateral engagement between the two countries.