Mon, 17 Jun 2019

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, spoke for the first time since a military standoff earlier this year.

Khan congratulated Modi on his recent election victory, the countries said in separate statements.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on May 26 that Khan reiterated 'his vision for peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia" and he "looked forward to working with Prime Minister Modi to advance these objectives.'

India's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Modi 'stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress, and prosperity in our region."

It was the first time the two leaders spoke since the archrivals were on the brink of war in February.

That month, a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group killed at least 40 paramilitary police in Kashmir. India then launched air strikes inside Pakistan, prompting it to respond in kind.

India has long accused Pakistan of using militant proxies in Kashmir. Islamabad denies the claim.

India and Pakistan have a history of bitter relations since they each gained independence from Britain in 1947.

The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, where the two sides still regularly exchange fire.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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