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Imran, Modi discuss issues

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May 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: In a significant conciliatory step, Prime Minister Imran Khan made a phone call to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Sunday to felicitate him another time in three days on his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s electoral victory in the Indian election.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs (EMA) has stated that Indian Prime Minister thanked the Prime Minister of Pakistan for his telephone call and greetings. According to the Foreign Office here, Imran Khan reiterating his vision for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia, said that he looked forward to working with Modi to advance these objectives while the Indian Ministry of External Affairs quoted Modi as saying that he stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in the region.

Both the leaders showed statesmanship in their telephonic conversation as the interaction took place in a pleasant way without any acrimony that attained an unprecedented height way back three months ago when Modi declined to respond to the phone call made by Khan amid Pulwama tension as two Indian Air Force planes were shot down by Pakistan and one of the pilots was captured. Ironically, there was no reference of the Kashmir dispute in the conversation from the either side.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP increased its majority and strength in India's election with its best-ever tally of 302 seats.

The main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, trailed the BJP with 52 of the 543 seats in Parliament.

In his tweet, Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said that Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his desire for both countries to work together for betterment of their people.

Prime Minister Imran had tweeted his congratulations to Modi on his electoral win on Friday, saying that he looked forward to working with his Indian counterpart on the same objectives. Modi, on Saturday, urged his coalition’s newly elected MPs to work for communal harmony on the model of the joint Hindu-Muslim uprising so as to deliver India its true freedom. Narendra Modi on Friday last led the BJP to a landmark victory for a second five-year term in office, winning 302 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Indian MEA claimed that recalling his initiatives in line with his government’s “neighbourhood first” policy, Modi referred to his earlier suggestion to Khan to fight poverty jointly.

Imran Khan on May 23 congratulated Modi on his electoral triumph and said, “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’s tweet was in both English and Urdu.

The diplomatic observers are of the view that the results of India’s general elections are very significant for Pakistan, as the formation of the next government will determine the course of Pakistan-India ties, which were strained after the Pulwama incident in February.

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

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