With Pakistan’s recent love for Congress, does Imran Khan’s statement have larger implications

Does Imran Khan's statement hint that Pakistan is rooting for a Congress government in India in 2019?

Fearing that his ‘peacemaking efforts’ may be rebuffed by India with the 2019 elections because of ‘anti-Pakistan rhetoric’, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he will resume peace talks with India after the elections are over.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum also known as “Davos in the desert” in Riyadh, Khan said, “Pakistan wants peace with all our neighbours particularly India and Afghanistan for regional peace and stability”. Explaining how peaceful relations would help India and Pakistan, Khan said, “Peace with India would help the two countries to divert their resources towards human development instead of indulging in the arms race. Similarly, peace in Afghanistan would help Pakistan to have an easy access to the Central Asian states for bilateral economic and trade activities”.

In September, India called off the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries, planned for the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly the same month, to protest against the killing of security personnel in Kashmir and a Pakistani postage stamp that was “glorifying” a terrorist.

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However, Khan’s statements raised eyebrows as after the recent bonhomie between Congress and Pakistan.

That is not it. Congress ministers on many occasions in the past have praised Pakistan. Pakistanis have also on one occasion reverted back by praising Congress President Rahul Gandhi for slamming PM Modi. Not to forget how senior Congress leader, Mani Shankar Aiyar while expressing his love for Pakistan, had blamed India for stopping the dialogue between the two nations. He also went on to say in an interview that to start a dialogue between to nations, Prime Minister Modi needs to be removed from his post. Former Union Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, too, on his visit to Pakistan, had hailed Pakistan as a democratic country and slammed Modi government.

Congress, on its part, also seems to be having a soft corner for the neighbour. Recently, Congress was found promoting a ‘Modi hatao desh bachao’ ad on Facebook in Pakistan. When Congress was called out on the same, the party decided to blatantly lie after quietly deleting the post.

Keeping this in view, it may not come as a surprise that Khan is rooting for a Congress government in India in 2019.

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