18:56 GMT06 June 2020
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    On July 30, Indian PM Modi made a surprise phone call to Imran Khan, who is set to become Pakistan's next prime minister saying he hoped that democracy will take deeper root in the neighboring country.

    Pakistan has termed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to Imran Khan, post-election victory, as a very positive indication in the bilateral relationship that has come to a standstill for almost two years since 2016 when New Delhi alleged that Pakistan-based terrorist groups had carried out attacks on Indian military camps.

    READ MORE: India, Pakistan Hold Maritime Dialogue After Two Years

    Pakistan's High Commissioner to New Delhi Sohail Mahmood pointed out that the peculiar trajectory of India-Pakistan relations over the past 71 years often led to political and military tensions and prevented the two countries from realizing their optimal potential in socio-economic development.

    "The phone call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chairman PTI Imran Khan was another positive development. It is being hoped that such steps on both sides would create the space for the betterment of ties between India and Pakistan," Sohail Mahmood said after the 72nd Independence Day celebrations at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

    ​He hoped that South Asia would turn a corner and would be known in the world, not for confrontation, but for cooperation.

    "I have always said that we wish to have good neighborly relations. We have also taken various initiatives in this regard. I recently congratulated Imran Khan on his victory in the elections. We hope that Pakistan would work for a safe, secure, stable and prosperous region, free from terror and violence," the prime minister responded on August 12 when asked if India is ready to hold talks with Pakistan.

    On Monday, both countries decided to release some prisoners languishing in each other's jails on humanitarian grounds. Pakistan released 30 prisoners comprising fishermen and civilians while, in an identical gesture of goodwill, India released six Pakistani civilians and one fisherman.

    READ MORE: India Conducts Massive Military Exercise Near Pakistani Border

    Indian and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over Kashmir since 1947. Kashmir, a Himalayan territory is claimed by both nations. In 2003, they signed a peace accord to refrain from military conflict and to find a political solution to the dispute. However, both countries maintain a heavy military presence on the border with troops exchanging fire every now and then. Though none of the skirmishes have escalated into full-blown war, both sides continue to accuse each other of transgressions.


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    Independence Day celebrations, bilateral cooperation, political tensions, peace, Narendra Modi, Imran Khan, India, Pakistan
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