PM Narendra Modi Dials Imran Khan, Expresses Hope on Democracy in Pakistan

PTI continues to gain momentum

Raveesh Kumar, spokesman for India's External Affairs Ministry, said Modi expressed hope that democracy would take deeper root in Pakistan.

The "prime minister also reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood", it added.

On July 30, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also telephoned the PTI chairman to congratulate him on his poll win.

The PTI chief is now actively engaged in forging alliances to form a coalition government in the center, Punjab, and Balochistan.

A party needs 137 seats to claim majority.

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif had travelled to New Delhi to attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony, and the Indian premier had in December 2015 made a stopover in Lahore to greet his counterpart on his birthday.

Not long afterwards, he also said that India and Pakistan need to improve their relations, benefit from trade opportunities, and address a common curse: poverty.

Those who voted for Imran Khan and his populist promises of a new, fairer, Pakistan are watching closely.

According to the figures provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 115 out of the 270 seats on which the elections were held.

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"The core committee of Tehreek-i-Insaf is considering inviting the SAARC heads including Mr Modi and a decision on this is expected shortly", a leader of Khan's party told PTI.

The prime minister in waiting, World Cup cricket hero Khan faces a hard road ahead as his relatively inexperienced party grapples with an economy inching toward crisis and security issues on Pakistan's borders. Thanking Modi for his wishes, Imran Khan said that the disputes between the two nations must be settled with dialogue.

The United States said it was concerned about "flaws" in the pre-electoral process, but was ready to work with the new government.

Khan, during a speech declaring victory on Thursday, offered to investigate opposition allegations of vote-rigging and said he wanted to "unite" the country under his leadership.

According to the statement, Modi said both the countries should adopt a joint strategy for progress in bilateral ties.

We have chose to play the role of an aggressive opposition in parliament, said a senior PML-N leader who had participated in the MMA-convened multiparty conference in Islamabad on Friday.

However, India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.

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

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