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Govt formation process starts in Pakistan

Last Modified Tuesday, 31 July 2018 (13:50 IST)
Islamabad/New Delhi: leader has started government formation process and has cancelled all meetings on Tuesday.
"Today all meetings cancelled at so IK can prepare for forming governments at the Centre, Punjab and KPk. This is a mammoth task requiring all cabinet and senior positions to be filled at the centre and provinces along with institutional heads," tweeted chief spokesman of the party Naeem ul Haque.
Meanwhile, just as cricket legend-turned-hardliner politician Imran Khan inched ahead to head the next government and key regional players including Kabul endorsed his victory, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sprang a major surprise and telephoned him to congratulate.
"Prime Minister expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan. He also reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighborhood," Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. 
Mr Modi, often known for his hardliner stance against Pakistan, congratulated Imran for his party emerging as the largest political party in the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Imran Khan thanked the Indian Prime Minister for his best wishes, a report quoting Khan's party PTI said, according to a report in website of popular Pakistani newspaper 'Dawn'.
"We are ready to enter a new era of relations with Pakistan," Mr Modi was quoted as saying by the PTI press release", the report further said.
In a fast-paced political developments during last two days, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has claimed that it has the support of a sufficient number of lawmakers to form governments in both the Centre and the province of Punjab - once a stronghold of Nawaz Sharif.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said his party has secured the backing of 168 out of the nearly 328-330 lawmakers returned to the National Assembly in the July 25 election.
Mr Modi's telephone call to Imran Khan comes shortly after Saudi Arabia, China and importantly Afghanistan sought to give legitimacy to recently held elections - where Khan's party outsmarted PPP and PML(N) and emerged as single largest party.
The gesture by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was more significant as from New Delhi's perspective India-Afghanistan ties have been always better than Pakistan's ties with its western neighbour.
"I just spoke to Imran Khan and congratulated him on the victory in parliamentary elections.
We both agreed to overcome the past and to lay a new foundation for a prosperous political,
social and economic future of both countries Afghanistan and Pakistan," President Ghani tweeted on Sunday.
On whether India could also try to work on a 'new' foundation remains to be seen as time and again,Indian side has made it clear that Pakistan needs to stop aiding and abetting terror groups operating from that country.
In its first reactions after July 25 polls in Pakistan, India has on Saturday said it desired a prosperous and progressive Pakistan, and hoped that the 'new government' in Islamabad will work constructively to build a safe, stable and secure 'terror free' South Asia.
In last two days, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Pakistan Yao Jing called on Imran Khan to compliment him on behalf of the "Chinese government and Communist Party on success in the recently-held general elections".
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also hoped that Pakistan will maintain stable and achieve greater development.A PTI spokesman said both Afghan President and Imran Khan during there telephonic talks discussed a wide range of bilateral issues.He said that Imran Khan also has accepted the invitation and would soon visit Kabul after he takes over as the prime minister.
Last few years have been marred by acrimony and bitterness between India and Pakistan especially after 'terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups' on military bases in Punjab and in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian army also carried out 'surgical strikes' along the LoC in September 2016 and formal talks have been kept in abeyance.
The tele talks by Mr Modi could be also seen as India always trying to keep an equi-distance with all political players in Pakistan. While Nawaz Sharif was given out during election campaign as being pro-India, for his part Imran Khan's rhetoric had substantial anti-India elements as well.
Imran Khan is also dubbed as a 'stooge and puppet' in the hands of Pakistan army - typically known for anti-India stance. Thus according to intellectuals and experts both in India and Pakistan,  all talks about normalising ties between two countries in the ultimate would only turn out to be an embarrassing failure.
BJP leader Sunil Shastri, however, has said that he sees 'a ray of hope' but the onus will be on Imran Khan to deliver.(UNI)
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