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Next Prime Minister will run into Imran Khan soon after taking charge

Apr 15, 2019, 10.51 AM IST
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Next Prime Minister to hit the ground running on Pakistan policy
Next Prime Minister to hit the ground running on Pakistan policy

Highlights

  • The next government should aim to hit the ground running, particularly on its Pakistan policy
  • Pakistan has figured in a negative way in the current election campaign
  • Most recently, Imran Khan’s remark that Pakistan would rather have a right-wing government in India added to the election storm
NEW DELHI: The next government should aim to hit the ground running, particularly on its Pakistan policy. The first half of June — 14-15 to be precise — will be the next Prime Minister’s first multilateral summit outing. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit is scheduled to be held in Bishkek where the next PM will have the first interaction with Pakistani PM Imran Khan.

Pakistan has figured in a negative way in the current election campaign, possibly giving the neighbouring country greater visibility than at any time in the recent past. Post-Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot strikes, Pakistan has been inserted in the rhetoric of the election campaign. Most recently, Imran Khan’s remark that Pakistan would rather have a right-wing government in India added to the election storm.

Outgoing Pakistani high commissioner Sohail Mehmood, who is returning to Islamabad to take over as the new foreign secretary, was quoted as saying on Sunday, “We hope for re-engagement with New Delhi after elections in India. Engagement between Pakistan and India will help in building an edifice of durable peace and security in the region.”

June will also see the PM travelling to Osaka for the G-20 summit, for either a first or renewed engagement with leaders of the top economies of the world. The second half of 2019 is packed with international commitments for the incoming PM. An annual summit with Russia will take the PM to Moscow, while the second edition of the India-China informal summit is expected to bring Chinese President Xi Jinping to India. The India-US 2+2 dialogue is scheduled for September-October while Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is expected to visit in autumn.
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