Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has expressed the hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on his victory in the recently held elections will lead to a sustainable thaw between the two neighbours.
Taking to micro blogging site twitter, the president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba, who was heading a coalition government with BJP in the state until last month, said “ Hope this goes beyond optics and leads to a sustainable thaw between both India and Pakistan”.
She was reacting to Mr Modi’s message to Mr Imran congratulating him (Imran) and expressing hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan.
Addressing party workers here recently Ms Mufti had appealed to Mr Modi to accept the hand of friendship extended by PTI Imran Khan for ending bloodshed in the state.
Cricketer-turned politician Khan, in his first public address after leading his party to victory in the general elections, had said Pakistan is ready to improve its ties with India and his government would like the leaders of the two sides to resolve all disputes, including the “core issue” of Kashmir, through talks.
Mr Khan, whose party emerged as the single largest in the Pakistan’s National Assembly elections, asserted that the blame game between the two neighbours should stop.
Ms Mufti further said, ‘I appeal to Mr Modi that a new government will be formed in Pakistan and there will be a new prime minister (Imran), who has extended a hand of friendship towards India. Mr Khan spoke of dialogue and now Mr Modi should respond to it positively.’
‘It was my request that Mr Modi should grab the opportunity and respond positively to the offer of friendship by Imran Khan. The PDP president said the forthcoming elections should not become an impediment in starting the reconciliation process with Pakistan.
“Elections come and go. Then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan and also entered a ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB). This is statesmanship, such leaders do not think about elections but about the people. Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest challenge for the PMs of our country”, she said.
Earlier, Mehbooba had said, “It is heartening to know that the people of Pakistan have rejected extremist forces in the elections. That is the strength of democracy. One always gets to choose”.
“Congratulations to @ImranKhanPTI on his victory. His hard work and tenacity won the day,’ she said in the tweet.