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Imran Khan's Modi 'endorsement' leaves Kashmir leaders fuming

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New Delhi, Apr 10: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he thinks there may be a better chance of peace talks with India if Prime Minister Narendra Modi wins the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

File photo of Narendra Modi

"Perhaps if the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)....wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached," Khan told a small group of foreign journalists in an interview.

"If the next Indian government were led by the opposition Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir, fearing a backlash from the right," Imran Khan was quoted saying by Reuters.

EC seeks report over PM Modi raking up Balakot strikes in a rally

"Perhaps if the BJP - a right-wing party - wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached," Imran Khan said in an interview.

Khan said Kashmir was the central issue between the two countries.

Imran Khan's statement has drawn criticism from the likes of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, who slammed the BJP's insistence that those wishing for the party's loss are sponsored by Pakistan.

"So much for Modi sahib telling the country only Pakistan and its sympathisers want BJP to lose," Abdullah tweeted.

PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti also joined the voices who poked fun at support coming for the BJP from Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan.

Congress leader Sanjay Jha, took the BJP trolling one step further by declaring that there is a "secret love story."

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.

Khan has said that Pakistan was taking action against all militants groups including the JeM.

India will go to elections in seven phases beginning from Thursday.

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