Hope new Pak govt builds terror-free South Asia: MEA

New Delhi: After Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the Pakistan general elections, India on Saturday expressed hope that the newly elected government would work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia which will be free of terrorism and violence.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement said that “India desired to have a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours.”

In response to questions from the media regarding the general elections in Pakistan, MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We welcome that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections. India desires to have a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours.”

The PTI emerged as the single largest party with 115 seats, after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday released the complete preliminary results for 270 of 272 National Assembly (NA) constituencies. However, the party fell short of the 137-majority mark. The ECP completed the process after almost three days when the general elections were held.

In his first speech after the elections, Imran on Thursday said he would like to have good relations with India and work to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue. Mentioning Kashmir as the core issue of dispute between the two nations, he said that it was time the two countries sat across the table and discussed the issues of concern.

“We should sit across and resolve the issues instead of we blaming India for problems in Balochistan and they blame us for problems in Kashmir. I can say that if you (India) will take one step forward, we will take two steps forward. The relationship between the two countries has been one-sided so far and Pakistan has been blamed for all sorts of terrorism in the world. We want friendship with India and want to resolve all issues through dialogue,” Imran asserted.

The already souring ties between India and Pakistan have taken a sharp plunge ever since ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces have increased along the Line of Control (LoC) and terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir have seen a rise in the last few months.

India has stated repeatedly that it would not engage in talks with Pakistan unless the latter stopped supporting and harbouring terrorism.