Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have responded ‘positively’ to Pakistan’s renewed call for dialogue to ensure peace and prosperity in the region, reports said.Modi and Jaishankar have replied to letters written by their Pakistani counterparts earlier this month, said a source in the Foreign Office on Thursday. The government of Pakistan has received a positive response from India after Pakistan had extended an offer to resolve reconcilable problems between the two countries, he added. Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a letter written to felicitate Modi on assuming office for a second term, had renewed Pakistan’s offer to hold dialogue with India to resolve contentious issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and terrorism, to restore peace in the region, and address the problems confronting the people of the two countries. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also written a letter to the newly appointed Indian counterpart Jaishankar and congratulated him on assuming the office.In reply to the letters, Modi and Jaishankar wrote about comprehensive and fresh talks between India and Pakistan. They said that India desires normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan, adding that it has always preferred progress and peace. “It is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility,” a statement by Indian External Affairs Ministry quoted Modi as saying in the letter, received by Pakistan through diplomatic channels on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Jaishankar also emphasised the need for an ‘atmosphere free from the shadow of terror and violence’.The Foreign Office source said the sentiments from Pakistan were also ‘appreciated’ in the letters. He added that PM Imran and FM Qureshi will soon respond to the letters from their counterparts. Indian External Affairs Ministry, however, was quick to play down the significance of the correspondence between the Indian and Pakistani leadership. According to Indian media reports, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Modi and Jaishankar’s letters are in line with the ‘established diplomatic practice’. “PM [Modi] and EAM [Jaishankar] have responded to the congratulatory messages received from their counterparts in Pakistan,” he said, and asserted that the letters contained no reference to talks between New Delhi and Pakistan.Despite the Indian MEA’s stance, the correspondence comes as a welcome development for PM Imran who, ever since assuming office in August 2018, has repeatedly invited India to the table for dialogue on all issues, including New Delhi’s concerns about terrorism. The letters also come on the heels of the first face-to-face interaction between the two prime ministers last week, which Qureshi described as a ‘courtesy’ meeting, on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek. Last month, Foreign Minister Qureshi also had a chance meeting with the then Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.Soon after coming to power last year, Prime Minister Imran had expressed the hope that sour relations between the nuclear neighbours would become normal. However, a war-like situation emerged between Pakistan and India in February after a suicide bombing in India-held Kashmir’s Pulwama district killed more than 40 Indian security forces personnel. India immediately hurled allegations of Pakistan’s involvement, whereas Islamabad strongly rejected the claim and asked for ‘actionable evidence’. The situation aggravated on Feb 25 when Indian fighter jets conducted an airstrike on Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in retaliation of the Pulwama attack. The next day, two Indian Air Force MiG 21 aircraft were shot down by the Pakistan Air Force in Kashmir and an Indian pilot named Abhinandan Varthaman was captured. However, as a goodwill gesture, the pilot was later handed over to Indian authorities.