Imran greets Modi, desires to work for peace

Kashmir Times. Dated: 5/24/2019 11:55:12 AM

Pak ready for dialogue: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD, May 23 (Agencies): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on his victory in the general elections and expressed desire to work with him for peace, progress and prosperity in the region.
Prime Minister Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards what looks set to be a resounding 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.
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 terror 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.
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 a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp 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 handed over to India.
Earlier, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi cruised back to power, Islamabad had favoured peaceful resolution of disputes with India and said it was ready to hold negotiations on all outstanding issues.
During an “informal chat” with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan was committed to the vision of Prime Minister Khan of pursuing peaceful diplomacy with India. “We made it clear to her that we want all the matters resolved through dialogue, and that Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in his very first speech that if India takes one step forward, we would take two steps forward. Even today we are ready for a dialogue,” the Pakistan Foreign Office quoted Qureshi as saying.
Qureshi said, “Sushma Ji pointed that I sometimes speak harsh so she has brought some sweets for me so that I talk sweet. In response, I said we are positive on holding negotiations with your country on all issues.”
In July last year, Modi had phoned Khan and congratulated him on the victory in general election.
Earlier on Wednesday, addressing the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Qureshi said that enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia hinged on good-faith diplomacy and result-oriented dialogue.
There were also reports that the Imran Khan administration is considering appointing a national security advisor to resume back channel diplomacy with India.



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