Press Trust of india

Imran Khan congratulates Modi; expresses desire to work with him for peace in South Asia

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Islamabad, May 23: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on his electoral triumph and expressed desire to work with him for peace and prosperity in the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards a super-sized victory for a second term in office.

“I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” Khan tweeted in both English and Urdu.

The results of India’s general elections are very significant for Pakistan as the formation of the next government in New Delhi will determine the course of Indo-Pakistan ties, which were pushed to a new low after the Pulwama suicide attack.

In April, Khan said he believed there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and settle the Kashmir issue if Modi’s party BJP wins the general elections.

Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said that Pakistan was committed to resolve all issues with India through dialogue irrespective of the outcome of the elections.

“Pakistan has consistently maintained that the only way to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is through implementation of the UNSC resolutions. Dialogue is hence essential. We remain committed to the same, irrespective of whoever forms the new government in India,” Faisal said at his weekly media briefing here.

He was responding to a question about the outcome of Indian elections and Pakistan’s expectations from the new government in New Delhi.

Faisal also said that India should “stop misleading the international community” and accept the ground realities and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

Just a day before the announcement of results, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and conveyed to her Pakistan’s desire to resolve all issues through dialogue.

Addressing the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Qureshi said that his country has delivered a “message of peace” by opening the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims from India as he underlined the importance of “conflict resolution” for peace and stability in South Asia.

He also said enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive without good-faith diplomacy and result-oriented dialogue.

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out airstrikes in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was subsequently handed over to India on March 01.

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