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Millennium Post

A new dawn

A new dawn

In a very interesting turn of events, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reached out to his Indian counterpart expressing his desire to work together. Congratulating Modi on his electoral victory, Khan, in an ice-breaking gesture in the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan, proposed to collaborate for the betterment of their peoples. The phone call was made on Sunday after Khan extended greeting via Twitter to Narendra Modi for achieving yet again a thunderous victory, when he led his Bharatiya Janata Party to win 302 seats in the 543-member strong Lok Sabha. Reiterating his vision for peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he looks forward to working with Narendra Modi to further these goals. These elections for the Lok Sabha were of significance to Pakistan as well as the new government will determine the course of the ties between the two neighbours after they reached a new low with Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy on February 14 that killed 40 jawans on the spot – in response to which, India carried out the much-sensationalised air strike on Jaish-e-Mohemed militant base on PoK that was reported to be in Balakot. Khan had expressed in April that if Modi-led BJP won the election, Pakistan strands a better chance at peace talks with India and at resolving the Kashmir dispute. Even on the eve of the results, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers' meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and conveyed to her Pakistan's desire to resolve all issues through dialogue. At this, India maintained its stance and told Pakistan that talks and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand. On Saturday, Qureshi said that Pakistan is ready to hold talks with the new Indian government to resolve all issues.

With change in governments and the hopeful fervor of a democratic mandate, a fresh outlook comes in for national and international issues. The ascension of Imran Khan to Prime Minister of Pakistan brought in a pleasant change in the regime from India's perspective. On the other side, the change in Pakistan's polity is that the de facto rulers of the country, its military, is for once, not focused on India with nefarious intentions. The impression of a developing Pakistan counts favourably for India as stability in the neighbourhood means peace on India's western borders. A stable Pakistan is definitely a desirable proposition for India and if the Pak premier extends the olive branch to India, it augers well for the region, at least in principle. Continuing hostility on any pretext comes at a heavy price on both the warring parties. Developing relations with a stable Pakistan is a very positive way forward.

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