In his speech after achieving victory at the polls on July 25, Pakistan’s Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan highlighted a desire to improve relations with India, suggesting opening trade linkages with Pakistan’s eastern neighbor and holding dialogue to discuss outstanding issues such as Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reciprocated by congratulating Khan on his electoral victory and stated that India is “ready to enter a new era of relations with Pakistan.” Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s newly appointed foreign minister, also commented on relations with India during his first press conference, voicing that complex differences between the two states are not resolvable overnight, and thus engagement and resumption of dialogue is necessary.
While Khan has not yet presented a concrete roadmap to resolve the political stalemate with India, his willingness to approach strained India-Pakistan relations to rebuild trust with New Delhi is a sign of maturity on his part. Such a step is imperative for Pakistan’s economic revival – another of Khan’s top priorities – as there is much to gain from positive relations with the country.
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