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PM Modi Reiterates Message of Peace and Progress After Imran Khan's Congratulatory Phone Call

PM Modi Reiterates Message of Peace and Progress After Imran Khan's Congratulatory Phone Call

A press release by the Indian Foreign Ministry, following the telephone call, said Modi thanked Khan for the greetings and reiterated his 'neighbourhood first policy' to 'fight poverty jointly' in Pakistan.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday received a telephone call from his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan congratulating him on the BJP's historic victory in the Lok Sabha elections and his re-election to the highest office in India.

The neighbouring country's Foreign Minister Mohammad Faisal took to Twitter to share Khan's cordial greetings and also expressed his desire for both countries to "work together".

"PM spoke to PM Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in Lok Sabha elections in India. PM expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples," Faisal said in a tweet.

Khan also envisions that the leaderships of Indian and Pakistan will work together to attain "peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia", added Faisal.

A press release by the Indian Foreign Ministry, following the telephone call, said Modi thanked Khan for the greetings and reiterated the former's "neighbourhood first policy" to "fight poverty jointly" in Pakistan.

"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," the release said.

Khan had also reached out to Modi personally on Twitter to congratulate him on the day the election results were announced.

"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 had then said.

Modi had responded to his Pakistani counterpart's congratulatory message by "warmly expressing" his gratitude while also reiterating his commitment to "peace and development" in South Asia.

"Thank you PM @ImranKhanPTI. I warmly express my gratitude for your good wishes. I have always given primacy to peace and development in our region," he had tweeted.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated recently after the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in February followed by the air strikes in Pakistan. The cross-border Balakot strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force were a prominent issue during the election campaign and were frequently mentioned by the BJP and its leaders. The strikes were in retaliation to the Pulwama suicide bombing in which more than 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives. The terror attack was claimed by Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammed, based in Pakistan.

Modi on Sunday also received telephone calls from former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and former prime minister of Nepal Madhav Nepal.

"Former president Nasheed congratulated the Prime Minister on the historic mandate and noted that the relationship between the Maldives and India had deepened in recent times," the ministry of external affairs said.

He stressed the importance of close cooperation to fight the forces of extremism and radicalisation in the region, it added.

On his part, Modi thanked Nasheed for his felicitation and reiterated his commitment to continue fostering a strong, mutually beneficial and all-round partnership between the two countries.

The ministry said Madhav Nepal warmly congratulated Modi on leading his party and alliance to a grand, historic and landslide victory. He also expressed the confidence that India's emergence as a front-ranking world power would qualitatively uplift the entire region.

Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party to a landmark victory for a second five-year term in office, winning 302 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

first published:May 26, 2019, 17:17 IST