Imran Khan congratulates Modi, talks of peace

With lots of bad blood in between since the February 14 Pulwama that took 40 CRPF jawans, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made the first move directly by congratulating Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his electoral success.

It may be recalled that as a consequence of the Pulwama attack, Indian security forces launched Balakot strikes which estranged the neighbouring countries even further. On receiving the congratulatory message from Mr Khan, Narendra Modi also conveyed his wish that end of terrorism is essential for regional peace and development.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), several world leaders and regional leaders including Maldives’ former President Mohammed Nasheed, who extended his solidarity to PM Modi and vowed to work together towards regional development and peace.

“He stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in our region,” MEA stated Mr Khan’s telephonic conversation with Mr Modi. During the phone call, Mr. Modi said that he recollected initiatives like “Neighbourhood First” that were started during his first tenure from 2014-’19, according to The NDTV.

Imran Khan had already tweeted his good wishes soon after BJP swept the 17th Lok Sabha Election on May 23 itself.

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— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 23, 2019

This was first direct conversation between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror and the Balakot strikes that took place subsequently. Pakistan Foreign Office informed that their Prime Minister reiterated his intentions to bring peace and prosperity in the South Asia region during his conversation with Modi. “The Prime Minister said he looked forward to working with Prime Minister Modi to advance these objectives,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a social media message.

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