PM Imran telephones Modi amid hopes of thaw

Published: May 26, 2019
Email
Premier congratulates BJP leader over election victory, reiterates his vision for peace. PHOTO: FILE

Premier congratulates BJP leader over election victory, reiterates his vision for peace. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to congratulate him and his party over the victory in the recent parliamentary elections, reiterating his vision for peace and prosperity in South Asia.

“PM [Imran] spoke to PM Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in Lok Sabha elections in India. PM expressed his desire for both countries to work together for betterment of their peoples,” foreign office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted.

Faisal added that Prime Minister Imran, while reiterating his vision for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia, told PM Modi that he looked forward to working with him to advance these objectives.

Last week, Imran Khan was quick to congratulate Modi over his election victory on May 23 even before the final results were announced.

Modi rehashes PM Imran’s call for regional peace

Modi thanked him and insisted that he always gave primacy to peace in the region.

The exchange of pleasantries between the two leaders is seen as sign of easing of tensions between the two neighbours.

Last week, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj held an informal meeting on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Kyrgyzstan.

Qureshi told Swaraj that Pakistan was ready to engage with India to sort out all outstanding issues between the two countries.

Diplomatic sources said with these positive gestures, there is a possibility of meeting between the prime ministers at the SCO summit scheduled for June in Kyrgyzstan.

PM Imran congratulates Modi as Pakistan renews call for talks

The ongoing contacts between the leadership of the two countries may be aimed at creating the right atmosphere for the likely meeting.

Sunday’s contact between PM Imran and his Indian counterpart was the first since the two nuclear armed neighbours were on the brink of a war in February following the Pulwama attack.

At that time even Prime Minister Imran tried to reach out to Modi but his efforts seeking de-escalation in tensions were apparently spurned by New Delhi.

However, as Modi is returning to power for the next five years with even a bigger mandate, it appears that some ice is breaking between the two countries.

India has long rejected Pakistan’s repeated offer of talks saying “talks and terror” cannot go together.

But, observers believe that Modi used hardline against Pakistan to whip up the nationalist sentiments among his voters before the elections.

With Modi has now secured the next terms and Pakistan also taken certain steps to crackdown on certain banned outfits, there is a possibility that some kind of encouragement will take place in coming months.

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