Modi stresses trust as Imran calls to offer cheers - GulfToday

Modi stresses trust as Imran calls to offer cheers

ImranModi

Imran Khan and Narendra Modi.

RESMI SIVARAM

Narendra Modi, who will take oath as prime minister for a second term at 7:00pm on Thursday May 30, on Sunday received a telephone call from Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan who congratulated him on the BJP's historic victory in the Lok Sabha elections and his re-election to the highest office in India.

A press statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs later said Modi thanked Khan for the greetings and reiterated the former's "neighbourhood first policy" to "fight poverty jointly" in Pakistan.

"He stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering co-operation for peace, progress, and prosperity in our region," the statement said.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Mohammad Faisal took to Twitter to share Khan's cordial greetings and also expressed his desire for both countries to "work together." "PM spoke to PM Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in Lok Sabha elections in India. PM expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples," Faisal said in a tweet.

Khan also envisions that the leaderships of Indian and Pakistan will work together to attain "peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia," he added.

Imran Khan had also reached out to Modi personally on Twitter to congratulate him on the day the election results were announced.

"I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia," Khan had then said. In his response, Modi "warmly expressed" his gratitude and reiterated his commitment to "peace and development" in South Asia.

"Thank you PM @ImranKhanPTI. I warmly express my gratitude for your good wishes. I have always given primacy to peace and development in our region," he had tweeted.

As congratulations poured in from several other countries as well, officials said world leaders are expected to attend Modi's swearing-in on Thursday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi had met President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday and staked a claim to form a government at the Centre.

BJP sources spoke of a new-look Cabinet which would see party president Amit Shah taking the number two slot with a key portfolio like defence or home in hand. Shah, who was home minister in Modi's team in Gujarat when the notorious communal riots took place in 2002, is more likely to take over the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Rajnath Singh, who handles home now, could move to defence while incumbent Nirmala Sitaraman moves to external affairs, allowing ailing Sushma Swaraj a much-needed rest.

Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, is also seen staying out due to health issues. His replacement could be Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goel or Surface Transport and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP sources said. In case Gadkari moves to finance, his star ministries could be entrusted to Smriti Irani, who is now a actor after crushing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.

West Bengal, where the BJP has made a phenomenal career advancement, jumping from two to 18 seats, could get big representation.