New Delhi, July 30 (Agencies): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday telephoned his Pakistani counterpart-in-waiting Imran Khan to congratulate him on winning the July 25 polls.
Both leaders agreed to start a new era of bilateral relations, eliminate poverty and bring in peace during the telephonic conversation.
Earlier today, the Indian government had also expressed hope for better bilateral relations with Pakistan and said the country desires a prosperous Pakistan playing its part in making the region safe and peaceful.
“India desires a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours,” said Indian Ministry of External Affair (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
The Indian foreign ministry spokesperson further hoped that the new government in Pakistan would play a constructive role in the region and work towards the eradication of terrorism.
“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,” he added.
Kumar also commended the people of Pakistan for demonstrating confidence in the democratic process through the recently concluded polls.
“We welcome that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections,” he said.
He concluded that better ties were expected between the two countries after the formation of a new government.
From India With Love
Indian politicians may have been measuring up words on how to react to Imran Khan’s electoral victory, but felicitations from the film, sports and media fraternities in the neighbouring country are literally pouring in. Where Khan’s inspiring victory speech won lots and lots of hearts in the country, it appears to have touched the right cord across the border as well. Khan’s offer to go the extra mile in ever-troubled relations with India was responded to with all-the-best messages – if not by the politicos – by those who figure significantly when it comes to normalising the bitter bilateral relations through Track-II diplomacy.
Rishi Kapoor, who had been at the forefront of the baap-beta Twitter tussle between the fans of the two countries during the ICC Champions Trophy last year, tweeted a genuine wish for Pakistan’s PM-to-be and hoped that the tense relations would improve between the two ‘Mulk’ – a reference to his upcoming movie. Veteran entertainer Javed Jafri could have wished in no better words, “Nasruminallaahe wa fatahun Qareeb!” meaning “Help from Allah and a near victory”. Khan even found fans in the stars of today like Ayushman Khurrana and Gul Panag who both believe he is the one who could do it. So emotive was Khan’s complaint of being turned into a Bollywood villain that Raveena Tandon – numero onu of the 90s – felt “embarrassed by the hysterical condescending rant by some of our own news channels crossing lines of decency”.
Khan’s rivals of yesteryear Kapil Dev believes he will run the country the way he ran the cricket team. For Dev, Imran “is a born leader and I truly hope he can help his country”. Mohammed Azharuddin also expects him to play the new ball game in the same bold manner.
With Khan conveying to the Indians that he is the Pakistani “who has the most familiarity with India [as] I have been all over that country”, celebrated novelist and columnist Shobha De welcomes him with open arms, tweeting, “Come and have a hug in India! Congratulations”.
(The featured image at the top shows Imran Khan calling on Indian Prime Minister Naresndra Modi on December 11, 2015)