By Our Special Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday that Pakistan is ready to have talks with the new Indian government.
The Foreign minister’s statement came two days after Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted back into power.
FM Qureshi said for outstanding issues the two neighbouring countries will have to come to the dialogue table. He further said that peace in the region is Pakistan’s priority as well as wish and the PTI government is making sincere efforts in this regard.
The foreign minister said there exists concerns on the recent wave of terrorism in the country, adding that it can be controlled due to implementation on the National Action Plan. Earlier this week, Foreign Minister also had an informal meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. Speaking after the informal meeting, Qureshi said he cleared it to Swaraj that Pakistan wants resolution of all issues with India through consultation.
Modi likely to take oath on 30th
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Ram Nath Kovind and tendered his resignation along with the council of ministers. He is likely to take oath, along with his new ministers, on the evening of May 30 in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The process of finalising the leaders who will be sworn in as ministers has begun, and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners have sent feelers on the number of berths they expect. Modi is likely to invite some foreign heads of state for his oath-taking ceremony, sources said. Meanwhile, India will have new foreign and finance ministers in the wake of outcome of Indian polls.
Indian Minister for External Affairs Ms Sushma Swaraj who was transplanted kidney last year is stepping out of the council of ministers since she didn’t contest election. Swaraj who served BJP government first as information and broadcasting minister and then minister for external affairs could become part of cabinet provided she is elected/nominated member of the upper house of Parliament (Rajya Sabha). Arun Jately, who was the finance minister and belongs to Amritsar, is seriously unwell. He too didn’t contest polls but he is member of the Upper House. He has given indication that he wouldn’t join the cabinet. Many BJP leaders are of the view that Defence Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to continue with a key role in the new government.
With Ms Smriti Irani handing a shock defeat to Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, it is expected that the party may reward her with an important responsibility. Smirity Irani actress/TV star turned politician was textile minister in outgoing cabinet. She will be rewarded with more important portfolio. A number of senior faces from the outgoing cabinet including Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar and Prakash Javadekar are set to figure in the new cabinet.
Among allies, Shiv Sena and JD (U) are likely to be given cabinet berths as both the parties have done exceedingly well, winning 18 and 16 respectively. The party will reward new faces from states like West Bengal.
, Odisha and Telangana where it has made significant inroads. “A number of young faces are likely to be inducted into the council of ministers as the BJP leadership has been working to groom a second line of leadership,” said a senior party leader.
According to Indian media, all eyes are now on government formation, amid speculation that several new faces including party president Amit Shah may be brought into the new cabinet. The BJP will also have new chief in that case.
The council of ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi tendered their resignation, which were accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind, paving way for formation of new government.
In first back-to-back majority in the Lok Sabha polls for a single party in over three decades, the Hindu fundamentalist Modi-led BJP won 303 seats out of 542 in the Lok Sabha polls, handing out a crushing defeat to the Congress and many other political opponents.
With 61 of 69 seats, how BJP took the Hindi Heartland back.
The newly-elected MPs of the BJP-led NDA met on Saturday to formally elect Modi as their leader, setting in motion the process to form a new dispensation.