Modi responds to Imran, calls for peace

Xi, Putin, other foreign leaders too compliment Modi  

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets his supporters after the election results at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarter in New Delhi. Reuters photo

With Narendra Modi set to lead Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in New Delhi once again, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday joined Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him.  

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Khan said that he looked forward to work with Modi for peace in the region. “I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of (the) BJP and (its) allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” Pakistan Prime Minister posted on Twitter. 

Tension between India and Pakistan had escalated ahead of the Lok Sabha elections – in the wake of the Jaish-e-Mohammed's February 14 terror attack killing over 40 paramilitary soldiers at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir and India's retaliatory air-strike on a training camp of the terrorist outfit inside Pakistan on February 26. Modi Government's “strong response” to export of terror from Pakistan to India was at the core of the ruling BJP's campaign narrative for the Lok Sabha elections. 

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Modi, however, thanked Khan on Thursday for his “good wishes”. “I warmly express my gratitude for your good wishes. I have always given primacy to peace and development in our region,” he posted on Twitter.

Modi also received congratulatory calls and messages from the leaders of all the neighbouring nations – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maldives' President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of United Arab Emirates, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too congratulated Modi.

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"Congratulations, my friend @Narendramodi, on your impressive election victory! The election results further reaffirm your leadership of the world's largest democracy. Together we will continue to strengthen the great friendship between India & (and) Israel," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on Twitter. He also tweeted the same in Hindi. 

“I attach great importance to the development of China-India relations and would like to work with you to guide the development directions of the bilateral relations, enhance mutual political trust, expand pragmatic cooperation and promote the closer developmental partnership between the two countries to a new height,” Xi wrote to Modi.

The “informal summit” between Modi and Xi at Wuhan in central China in April 2018 brought about a thaw in complex bilateral relations between New Delhi and Beijing, which had hit a new low over the 72-day-long military stand-off between Indian Army and Chinese People's Liberation Army at Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan in June-August 2017. 

China on May 1 dropped its policy of shielding terrorists based in Pakistan from United Nations sanctions and stood aside to let the Security Council impose sanctions on the JeM chief Masood Azhar. It came as a shot in the arm for the BJP, which highlighted it in its poll-campaign as a diplomatic victory of Modi Government. 

Putin called Modi and conveyed to him that he was ready to continue “fruitful personal contacts” with Prime Minister of India in order to “work together to build up the full range of bilateral relations and constructive interaction in international affairs”. “I am convinced that, as Prime Minister of India, you will further strengthen the centuries-old friendship between our peoples, the all-round development of a particularly privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.”

Putin on April 12 - a day after the first of the seven phases polling for the Lok Sabha elections was held in India - announced his government's decision to bestow Russia's highest civilian award - 'Order of St Andrew the Apostle' - on Modi. The UAE too announced just a few days before polling commenced in India that it would confer its highest civilian award,  Zayed Medal, on Modi.  

Abe called Modi on Thursday and congratulated him for the resounding victory of his party in elections. The two leaders noted the advances made in India-Japan bilateral relationship in the last five years and reiterated their commitment towards further strengthening the Special Strategic and Global Partnership, according to a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.

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