Indian PM Narendra Modi telephones Pakistan PM elect Imran Khan

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Indian PM Narendra Modi telephones Pakistan PM elect Imran Khan

NEW DELHI - Indian PM Narendra Modi has telephoned Pakistan PM elect Imran Khan and congratulated him over his victory in the general elections 2018.

This comes as Imran Khan made talks offer to India in his first address to the nation after his historic victory in the elections.

India on Saturday formally welcomed the fact that “the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections” and hoped “the new government” would work for a South Asia “free of terror and violence”. But India did not mention the new prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan by name or respond to his talks offer.

Three days after the July 25 polling date, the Election Commission of Pakistan released the official results with 115 seats for Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). At second place was the erstwhile ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) with 64 seats, followed by the Pakistan’s Peoples Party with 43 seats.

The PTI has emerged as the single largest party but is short of the majority mark of 137 in the National Assembly. As per Pakistani media reports, PTI has already reached out to smaller parties for support to form a coalition government. Among the smaller parties in the assembly are the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), a coalition of religious parties, with 12 seats, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) with 6 seats.

A couple of hours after the much-delayed official results were out, India issued a public response.

“We welcome that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, adding that India “desires a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours”.

“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,” said Kumar.

Earlier on Thursday, Khan had said that it would be “good for all of us” if Pakistan had good relations with India.

He advocated improved trade ties, but also referred to the Kashmir dispute as the “core issue” between the two South Asian countries.