'Indians Can Decide...': Pak On Not Congratulating PM Modi After Polls

New Delhi:

Pakistan today said that it desired cordial and “cooperative ties” with all its neighbours, including India, and wants to resolve disputes through talks. The remarks by Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch came a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking oath for a third consecutive term.

Led by PM Modi, the National Democratic Alliance secured 293 seats in the Lok Sabha polls and is set to form the government for a record third term.

Asked if Pakistan has congratulated PM Modi on winning the elections, Ms Baloch said it is the right of Indian citizens to decide about their leadership.

“We do not have any comments on their electoral process,” she said, adding that since the new government hasn’t officially been sworn in, it is “premature” to talk about congratulating the Indian Prime Minister.

Elaborating on ties with India, Ms Baloch claimed that Pakistan has always sought to resolve all disputes with its neighbour through constructive dialogue.

“Pakistan has always desired cooperative relations with all its neighbours including India. We have consistently advocated constructive dialogue and engagement to resolve all outstanding issues, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

India has maintained that it desires cordial ties with Pakistan while insisting that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment that is free of terror and hostility for such an engagement.

Earlier this year, Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India “never closed doors to talking to Pakistan” but the terrorism issue should be “fair, square at the centre of the conversation”.

“We have never closed our doors on talking with Pakistan. The question is what to talk about … If some guy has that many terrorist camps … that should be the central part of the conversation,” he said.