Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria on Friday met Pakistan's Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan and called the meeting positive and constructive. Bisaria gifted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief a bat autographed by the entire Indian cricket team. He also congratulated Khan on his electoral success and discussed a range of issues and prospects of India-Pakistan relationship.
After the meeting, Bisaria tweeted, "Called on @ImranKhanPTI and his team today for a positive, constructive conversation."
The Indian High Commission also tweeted, "Indian HC Ajay Bisaria called on Mr Imran Khan, Chairperson & senior leadership of PTI. HC congratulated @ImranKhanPTI on his electoral success, discussed range of issues, prospects of India-Pak relationship. HC gifted a cricket bat autographed by the entire Indian cricket team."
Indian HC Ajay Bisaria called on Mr Imran Khan, Chairperson & senior leadership of PTI. HC congratulated @ImranKhanPTI on his electoral success, discussed range of issues, prospects of India-Pak relationship. HC gifted a cricket bat autographed by the entire Indian cricket team. pic.twitter.com/xtdZ8H8ZQ5
— India in Pakistan (@IndiainPakistan) August 10, 2018
This was India's first diplomatic outreach to Pakistan government in waiting after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called up Khan on July 30 and congratulated him on his electoral success. Modi expressed hope that democracy would take deeper roots in Pakistan while calling for peace and development in the entire neighbourhood.
Pakistan went to polls on July 25 and the PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats after the Election Commission of Pakistan released the complete results for 270 of 272 National Assembly (NA) constituencies. On July 28, the MEA in a statement said that "India desired to have a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours."
In response to questions from the media regarding the general elections in Pakistan, MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We welcome that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections. India desires to have a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours."
India expressed hope that the newly elected government would work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia which will be free of terrorism and violence.
In his first speech after the general elections, Khan said he wanted to have good relations with India and work to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue. Mentioning Kashmir as the core issue of dispute between the two nations, he said that it was time the two countries sat across the table and discussed the issues of concern.
"We should sit across and resolve the issues instead of we blaming India for problems in Balochistan and they blame us for problems in Kashmir. I can say that if you (India) will take one step forward, we will take two steps forward. The relationship between the two countries has been one-sided so far and Pakistan has been blamed for all sorts of terrorism in the world. We want friendship with India and want to resolve all issues through dialogue," Khan elucidated.
Imran Khan will take the oath as Pakistan's Prime Minister on August 18, a senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader said on Friday. Senator Faisal Javed also tweeted that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by Khan has invited Indian cricketers Kapil Dev, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sunil Gavaskar to attend the oath taking ceremony of the cricketer-turned-politician.
"Imran Khan to take oath as Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the 18th Aug 2018 inshALLAH (if God wills)", Javed tweeted. His tweet came after President Mamnoon Hussain summoned a session of the National Assembly on August 13 during which the newly-elected members will take oath.