Pakistan Election 2018: India hopes new Islamabad govt will 'work constructively' to end militancy in South Asia

Indian foreign ministry said that India hopes that the new Pakistan government will 'work constructively' and end militancy in South Asia

Reuters July 29, 2018 09:21:00 IST
Pakistan Election 2018: India hopes new Islamabad govt will 'work constructively' to end militancy in South Asia

New Delhi: India on Saturday said it hoped the new government of Pakistan would “work constructively” to end militancy in South Asia, in its first comments following this week’s general election in Pakistan.

Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, who won the disputed election, has called for better ties with India.
“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,” India’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan Election 2018 India hopes new Islamabad govt will work constructively to end militancy in South Asia

File image of Imran Khan and Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

India accused Pakistan of backing several anti-India militant groups and helping them to infiltrate the divided Kashmir region to stoke violence. Pakistan denied the charge.

On Thursday, as he declared victory in the election, Khan said India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir dispute through talks.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence in 1947, two of them over Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part. Clashes between their forces in Kashmir largely stopped after a 2003 ceasefire but exchanges of fire have been more common in more recent years.

India’s foreign affairs ministry did not directly comment on Khan’s call for talks, but said it welcomed that “the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections”.

Pakistan Election 2018 India hopes new Islamabad govt will work constructively to end militancy in South Asia

“India desires a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours,” the statement said.

On Saturday Khan opened coalition talks with at least one smaller party and independent politicians, a spokesman said, after the announcement of the full results of the election.

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