Pakistan's Khan Says Ready To Work With India's Modi For 'Peace, Prosperity'
By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal May 23, 2019
Pakistan's prime minister has congratulated his Indian counterpart for his landslide general election victory, and said he looked forward to working with him for "peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia."
Imran Khan congratulated Naredra Modi in a May 23 tweet, as partial elections results showed Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a commanding lead.
India and Pakistan have a history of bitter relations since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, where the two sides still regularly exchange fire.
Khan's message came hours after Pakistan's military said it tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.
The move followed an announcement by India a day earlier saying it had test-fired a BrahMos cruise missile, which New Delhi described as the world's fastest.
In February, a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group killed at least 40 paramilitary police in Kashmir. India then launched air strikes inside Pakistan, prompting it to respond in kind and bringing the two countries to the brink of war.
India has long accused Pakistan of using militant proxies in Kashmir. Islamabad denies that.
Election Commission data showed Modi's BJP leading in contests for about 300 out of 542 seats in parliament, which would allow Modi to secure a second five-year term.
The main opposition alliance, headed by Rahul Gandhi's Congress party, conceded defeat.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among foreign leaders who congratulated Modi for his party's victory.
"The government and the people of Afghanistan look forward to expanding cooperation between our two democracies in pursuit of regional cooperation, peace and prosperity for all of South Asia," Ghani tweeted.
Putin called the Indian prime minister to congratulate him, the Kremlin said, adding that the two leaders "confirmed their readiness to fully contribute to the strengthening of friendship between the people of Russia and the people of India and the development of privileged strategic partnership."
With reporting by Reuters, AP, the BBC, AFP, and TASS
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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