Federal Budget

Shehbaz, Nawaz greet Modi, Indian leader responds in kind

Shehbaz, Nawaz greet Modi, Indian leader responds in kind

Pakistan

"The people of India have always stood for peace, security and progressive ideas," says Modi

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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) - India and Pakistan’s leaders have exchanged greetings and thanks, a day after Narendra Modi was sworn in as Indian prime minister for the third time.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his elder brother and former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Modi in posts on the social media platform within hours of each other. This was Pakistan’s first response to the election results from across the border.

“Your party’s success in recent elections reflects the confidence of the people in your leadership. Let us replace hate with hope and seize the opportunity to shape the destiny of the two billion people of South Asia,” Nawaz said in one post.

Modi responded, saying “The people of India have always stood for peace, security and progressive ideas. Advancing the well-being and security of our people shall always remain our priority.”

Modi secured a record-equalling third term but lost his outright majority and is dependent on regional parties for support in his first coalition government.

Nuclear-armed rivals and neighbors India and Pakistan have fought three wars, including two over control of the disputed Kashmir region in the Himalayas.

Ties between the two have been frozen since India ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state in 2019 and split it into two federally administered territories.

They came closer to yet another war when India launched air strikes inside Pakistan to target what it said was a militants’ sanctuary in 2019.

New Delhi invited leaders of seven regional countries to Sunday’s grand inauguration at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, or president’s palace, in New Delhi but Sharif wasn’t included.

A few hours after Shehbaz Sharif had wished him well, Modi responded on X: “Thank you @cmshehbaz for your good wishes.”

The elder Sharif has always been a proponent of peace with India. Analysts don’t see any chance of peace talks between the two sides anytime soon, however.