Indian elections: ‘Pakistan will work with whoever wins’

FO spokesperson says Islamabad is looking forward to resuming stalled talks with New Delhi.

Our Correspondent April 11, 2014
Cardboard cut-outs of election candidates. PHOTO: AFP


Pakistan on Thursday indicated it was ready to work with whoever wins the ongoing parliamentary elections in India.

“We deal with countries. It’s for the people of India to elect whoever they deem fit. We will take it from there,” foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters at her weekly briefing when asked whether Pakistan would respond positively if hardline Hindu nationalist Bharatia Janata Party (BJP) comes to power.

The nine-phase vote in India began earlier this week and will conclude on 12 May.

Modi, who is ahead in all the pre-election opinion polls, has been accused of being linked to India’s worst anti-Muslim riots in 2002 in the state of Gujarat. He has been calling for talking tough with Pakistan but critics doubt whether he would do the same if he forms the government.

The foreign ministry spokesperson said Pakistan was looking forward to the resumption of stalled peace talks with India.

India has so far been reluctant to resume the full spectrum of dialogue linking the process with Pakistan successfully prosecuting the suspects of November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

However, Tasnim stressed the need for restoration of composite dialogue in order to address all outstanding issues including the longstanding problem of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We believe that to have sustainable and durable peace, we need to address all the issues and disputes that stand between Pakistan and India  having normal, good neighborly relations and having peace and cooperation in the region,” she emphasised.

Afghan elections

Tasnim hoped that the recently-held presidential elections in Afghanistan would contribute to the building of a stronger, more unified and prosperous Afghanistan.

“We would continue to support the Afghan people every step of the way,” she said.  She said Pakistan’s consistent support for a free and fair electoral process was based on the belief that it was vital, both for a smooth political transition and for Afghanistan’s future stability.

Pakistan took a range of measures to reinforce existing security arrangements to help the efforts for a peaceful conduct of the elections, she added.

“These included enhanced vigilance and security along the entire length of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, sealing of the crossing-points, deployment of additional troops, aerial surveillance, and enhanced communication through Border Coordination Centers.”

She maintained that the Afghan electoral institutions now have the heavy responsibility to ensure successful completion of the next steps in the electoral process.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2014.


Shilpa | 7 years ago | Reply

Like they have a choice :)

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