ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called India's Narendra Modi Friday afternoon to congratulate him on his landslide election win, suggesting Islamabad is keen to promote better ties with its giant neighbour.
Nawaz spoke to Modi, leader of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to hail the "impressive victory", a statement from the PM office said. He also invited the BJP leader to visit Islamabad.
There have been fears that a victory for Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP could signal bumpy times ahead for the two nuclear powers. Preliminary results following India's six-week election showed the BJP on course for the first parliamentary majority by a single party in 30 years.
Since his own election victory in May last year, PM Sharif has sought to improve ties with India, Pakistan's traditional arch-rival. Islamabad has also been making efforts for resumption of Composite Dialogue process with New Delhi for resolution of all outstanding issues between the two nuclear neighbours with the desire for lasting peace in the region.
Premier Nawaz while addressing the recently held Envoys Conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that Pakistan has a number of outstanding disputes with India, which need resolution - Kashmir being one of them and the most important. "We want to have peace in this region. Peace for development. We need to overcome the problems that exist between Pakistan and India," he said.
Pakistan initially reacted cautiously to the victory of Modi but hoped that the new Indian government would positively respond to Islamabad's overture for peace and stability in the region. Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam in her weekly press briefing said that resolution of disputes and durable peace is in favour of every one. It is something that people of this region need for economic development and prosperity, she said.
"It is in that context that we need to resume the dialogue process and focus on finding solutions to outstanding disputes. People of Kashmir have long suffered. The resumption of dialogue is therefore, not a favor done by one country to the other. It is crucial for both", she told a questioner in her last weekly press briefing on May 8.