Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said he was hopeful that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold the hand of friendship extended by PML(N) leader Nawaz Sharif.
"Perhaps for the first time, improving relations with India was a positive issue in the Pakistan elections. Kashmir issue was not used much during the polls.
"In this backdrop, we are hopeful that the hand of friendship extended by Sharif would be held by the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh)," Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He said the electoral victory for Sharif`s party was a good development for Indo-Pak relations and resolution of Kashmir issue.
"It is right that Sharif has won elections, which is a good development. Sharif has earlier also proved that he wants good relations with our country and he wants that Kashmir problem to be resolved through dialogue," Omar said.
The Chief Minister said while Sharif has been "punished" in the past by the army for this (soft stand towards India), there was very little influence or interference of the army in the recently concluded elections in Pakistan.