India, Pakistan PMs exchange notes on poll win via X - GulfToday

India, Pakistan PMs exchange notes on poll win via X

Shahbaz Sharif, Narendra Modi

Shahbaz Sharif congratulates Modi on taking oath as prime minister of India on Monday.

India and Pakistan’s leaders resorted to diplomacy via X on Monday, a day after Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister for the third time.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz 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, in what 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 Sharif said in one post.

Nawaz Sharif attended the ceremony when Modi became the prime minister for the first time in 2014. 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.

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 Shahbaz Sharif wasn’t included.

South Asian leaders from neighbouring Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka attended the ceremony but neighbouring rivals China and Pakistan had notably not sent top leaders.

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

Days earlier, Indian PM Modi had congratulated Shahbaz Sharif on his taking oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan. “Congratulations to @CMShehbaz on being sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan,” PM Modi had said in a post on X.

The elder Sharif has always been a proponent of peace with India, which is said to be one of the reasons he fell out with his country’s powerful military in his last tenure from 2013 to 2017.

Analysts don’t see any chance of peace talks between the two sides anytime soon, however. “Modi is not ready as yet,” said author and defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqa. The two sides have some backdoor diplomatic initiatives, however, which may be a “a gentle start,” she said.

Reuters / NNI News

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