Envoy: Terrorism common enemy of India and Pakistan

Updated 24 April 2014
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Envoy: Terrorism common enemy of India and Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Pakistan says it is “encouraged” by comments from India’s election frontrunner Narendra Modi who stressed cooperation with foreign governments if he was elected prime minister.
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said he welcomed Modi’s comments in a recent television interview that he would pursue the policies followed by former premier Atal Behari Vajpayee of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I was very much encouraged. They were very positive. It gives us hope that if he is elected as prime minister we should expect more positive things,” Basit told journalists in New Delhi.
Making a strong pitch for a resumption of the talks, Basit said dialogue was the only way to resolve outstanding issues such as Kashmir.
Basit said the Pakistani government wished to change the “narrative” between the two countries into one of “cooperation and trust.”
The Pakistani envoy also said that his government was “keenly looking forward to a government with which Pakistan (can engage) quickly, comprehensively and meaningfully... and move from conflicting relations.”
The envoy said that “terrorism is a common enemy of both countries” and that those who believed Pakistan harbored terrorists “misunderstood the country.”
Asked about foreign policy in the TV interview, Modi asserted that he would follow Vajpayee’s policies.
“I believe mutual respect for one another and cooperation should be the basis for relationships with foreign nations,” Modi said, according to Press Trust of India.
India’s six-week long elections will end on May 12 with results four days later.


Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas hold 1st local polls

Updated 6 min 28 sec ago
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Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas hold 1st local polls

  • Some 2.8 million voters are registered for Saturday’s elections
  • Pakistan claims to have cleared the tribal areas of militants in a series of military operations in recent years

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas are holding their first-ever provincial elections, in a region along the Afghan border that was once a stronghold for the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other militant groups.
The seven tribal districts were merged last year into the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Before that, the tribal areas were federally administered, and residents could only vote in the national assembly.
Sohail Khan, a spokesman for the provincial election body, said 285 candidates, including two women, are running for sixteen seats.
Some 2.8 million voters are registered for Saturday’s elections, which opened at 8 a.m. local time amid heightened security.
Pakistan claims to have cleared the tribal areas of militants in a series of military operations in recent years, but the region still sees occasional attacks.