Modi made the remarks in a telephonic conversation after Pakistan PM Imran Khan telephoned him to congratulate Modi on his victory
IN their first telephonic conversation after the Balakot airstrikes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on Sunday that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering peace and prosperity in the region. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that it was Khan who called up Modi to congratulate him on his re-election.
“The Prime Minister thanked the Prime Minister of Pakistan for his telephone call and greetings,” it said. Recalling his initiatives in line with his Government’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy, Modi referred to his earlier suggestion to Khan to fight poverty jointly, the MEA said. “He stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in our region,” it added.
The telephonic conversation came amid strained bilateral ties since nearly three months following the Pulwama terror attack and India’s subsequent aerial strikes on a terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. Khan had also congratulated Modi on Twitter last week after the BJP’s massive victory in the general election.
Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landmark victory for a second five-year term in office, winning 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Reiterating his vision for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia, Khan said that he looked forward to working with Modi to advance these objectives, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said on Twitter. Khan also expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples, he added. Modi and Khan are scheduled to meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan next month. After the election results on Thursday, Khan tweeted in both English and Urdu: “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.” In April, Khan had said he believed that there might be a better chance of peace talks with India and settling the Kashmir issue if Modi’s BJP won the general election.