Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is all set to be sworn in as the prime minister of Pakistan. India, in its first statement since the general elections earlier this week, said it hopes the new government of Pakistan would "work constructively" to end militancy in South Asia.
India's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement:
We hope that the new government of Pakistan will work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia free of terror and violence.
India has been firm in their stance accusing Pakistan, more specifically the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of encouraging anti-India extremists, especially in the disputed region of Kashmir, helping militants infiltrate the country and promoting cross-border terrorism. Pakistan has, however, denied the allegations.
Of the three wars fought between the two countries since the 1947 independence, two have been over Kashmir. Clashes along the disputed border have especially increased in the past few years despite the 2003 ceasefire agreement.
Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, has been a bone of contention between the two neighbouring countries. In his victory speech from Islamabad, the prime ministerial-elect said that India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue through talks.
India's foreign affairs ministry did not directly comment on Khan's call for talks but said it welcomed that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections. The statement said:
India desires a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours.
On Saturday, Khan opened coalition talks with at least one smaller party and independent politicians, a spokesman said, after the announcement of the full results of the election.
(With inputs from Reuters)