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Higher chances of peace with India if Modi wins: Imran Khan

April 11, 2019

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has made a statement that there are higher chances of peace talks with India if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP wins the general election that starts today.

Khan said that if the next Indian government was to be led by the Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a resolution with Pakistan over Kashmir, as it would fear a reaction from right wing groups.

Speaking to foreign journalists, Khan said, "Perhaps if the BJP - a right-wing party - wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached".

Khan also referred to the huge alienation that Muslims in Kashmir and Muslims in general were facing in India under Modi. He said that he never thought he would see such days in India when "Muslim-ness is being attacked." He also charged Modi with conducting elections on the basis of "fear and nationalist feeling".

In the meantime, Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Choudhary also said his country is ready to hold talks with the next government that comes to power.

Pakistan hopes the election process is completed peacefully and whichever government comes to power, we will sit with them and see how things can moved forward. It is obvious that the atmosphere that developed post-Pulwama and the tensions are not in the interests of the people or the region. It's important to bring it down and to start the process and take it forward from where it had stopped, but for that we have to wait for the Indian election. - Fawad Choudhary, Information Minister, Pakistan

Relations between Pakistan and India have reached a crisis point after a suicide bombing that killed 40 soldiers in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has denied any responsibility for the attack, which was claimed by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed India retaliated by carrying out a cross border air strike against a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. Pakistan then sent planes to target Indian military installations.

Experts say that PM Modi and the BJP's chances of being re-elected have got a boost after a wave of patriotism after the suicide bomb attack and the Indian government's fast response.

The general elections will be held in seven phases and will begin today. The result will be counted on 23 May.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned that his country had "reliable intelligence" that India would attack again this month. India described the claim as irresponsible.

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