Indo-pak PMS speak for 1st time since air strikes

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FEATURES -

The lead­ers of In­dia and Pak­istan spoke by phone on Sun­day

AFP, 26TH MAY, 2019

The lead­ers of In­dia and Pak­istan spoke by phone on Sun­day, their of­fices said, in their first con­ver­sa­tion since be­fore tit-for-tat air strikes in Fe­bru­ary, their worst bustup in years.

Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan con­grat­u­lated his coun­ter­part Narendra Modi on his re­cent elec­tion vic­tory, the two nu­cle­ar­armed arch foes said in sep­a­rate state­ments.

Khan “ex­pressed his de­sire for both coun­tries to work to­gether for the bet­ter­ment of their peo­ples,” Pak­istan’s for­eign min­istry said.

“Re­it­er­at­ing his vi­sion for peace, progress and pros­per­ity in South Asia, the Prime Min­is­ter said he looked for­ward to work­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Modi to ad­vance these ob­jec­tives,” it added.

Modi mean­while “stressed that cre­at­ing trust and an en­vi­ron­ment free of vi­o­lence and ter­ror­ism were es­sen­tial for fostering co­op­er­a­tion for peace, progress and pros­per­ity in our re­gion,” In­dia’s for­eign min­istry said.

In Fe­bru­ary a sui­cide bomb­ing in In­di­anad­min­is­tered Kashmir -- di­vided be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan since par­ti­tion in 1947 -- claimed by a mil­i­tant group based in Pak­istan killed 40 In­dian troops.

In­dia and Pak­istan then car­ried out tit-for-tat air strikes, but to the great relief of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity the two coun­tries re­treated from the brink of fur­ther ac­tion.

Ear­lier this month, in a diplo­matic vic­tory for In­dia, the UN added Ma­sood Azhar, the leader of the group that claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the sui­cide bomb­ing, to its ter­ror­ist black­list.

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