New Delhi sources stated that with former cricket captain Imran Khan all set to become Prime Minister of Pakistan, India on Saturday said it hoped the new Pakistani government would work towards building a “secure South Asia free of terror and violence”. Recently India’s veiled message was clear that Mr. Khan or whoever takes charge in Islamabad as head of the civilian government will have to seriously address the problem of terrorism sponsored by the Pakistani establishment (the Pakistan Army and ISI) if there is to be any hope of a dialogue between the two neighbors.
Meanwhile in its brief statement, New Delhi effectively sought to convey that its core issue when dealing with Pakistan was the issue of terror emanating from the soil of Pakistan or territory controlled by it. Furthermore there was no direct reference by India to Mr. Khan’s offer on Thursday of a dialogue or his reference to Kashmir being the “core issue” between the two countries. Moreover Mr. Khan who is seen as the favorite of the Pakistani Army and ISI is yet to be sworn in as Prime Minister.
Accordingly his political party, the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaaf, has emerged with the largest number of seats in the National
Assembly among all political parties but is short of a majority on its own. Moreover
soon after the election results were out, he had said that Pakistan was ready
to move two steps ahead in a dialogue if only India took just a step forward.
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