Modi offers Imran ‘new beginning’ in ties with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has telephoned Pakistan’s premier-in-waiting Imran Khan and said his country “is ready for a new beginning” in bilateral relations between the two countries. Pakistan-India relationship has been a roller-coaster ride since the two countries got independence from the British rule in 1947. Of late, the ties have been bedeviled by bloody border skirmishes and mutual recrimination.

Prime Minister Modi’s phone call came days after Imran in his victory speech held out an olive branch to New Delhi saying that his administration would work to tide over the past in relations with India. Modi congratulated Imran over the triumph of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in the July 25th general elections and conveyed ‘good wishes’ to the new administration, PTI’s Central Media Cell said in a statement.
The Indian leader said the two countries would have to evolve a joint strategy in their bilateral affairs.Imran thanked Premier Modi for his phone call and good wishes. “The two countries should work out political solutions to their bilateral disputes,” he was quoted by the PTI Media Cell as telling the Indian leader. “War and violence only results in tragedies,” he added.
The premier-in-waiting further said that the two countries should work together to “snatch millions of poor people of the region from the cruel clutches of poverty”.
Earlier in the day, India’s foreign ministry said New Delhi desires a prosperous Pakistan playing its part in making the region safe and peaceful.
“India desires a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours,” said Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson for India’s Indian Ministry of External Affair.
He hoped that the new government in Pakistan would play a constructive role in the region and work towards the eradication of terrorism.
“We hope that the new government of Pakistan will work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia free of terror and violence,” he added.
Kumar also commended the people of Pakistan for demonstrating confidence in the democratic process through the recently concluded polls.
“We welcome that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections,” he said.
He said that better ties were expected between the two countries after the formation of a new government.

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