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PDP-BJP breakup: People’s interest above political interests: PM Modi

New Delhi, Aug 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that people’s interest is above political interests and that is why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opted out of alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an exclusive to ANI, Modi said his government is working towards holistic development in Jammu and Kashmir.

While talking about the alliance with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said that the coalition was formed to fulfil people’s expectations.

“The people’s mandate during the State Assembly elections was towards formation of Government jointly by BJP and PDP. Also, in that situation, there was no other alternative. That is why, to fulfil the people’s expectations, we formed the Coalition Government,” Modi said.

He said, “After the sad demise of Mufti Sahab, there were hurdles in fulfilling those expectations.”

“For BJP, people’s interest is above political interests and that is why without casting any aspersions, we opted out of power,” he said.

Prime Minister said that BJP is always with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and is working to fulfil their dreams.

While addressing the difficulties BJP faced during the coalition with PDP, he said, “This importantly includes deepening the roots of Democracy in the State right down to the Panchayat and Village level. We made efforts to strengthen local self-government at the village level but in that coalition Government it was becoming increasingly tough to do so.”

He further said that the central government is working towards holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir across the regions of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir Valley.

BJP pulled out of the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir in June after ruling the state for over 3 years in partnership for 3 years.

‘Hope Imran-led Pak works for peace’

New Delhi, Aug 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes Pakistanwill work towards creating a secure, stable and prosperous neighbourhood.

In an interview to news agency ANI over the weekend, when asked if India was open to a dialogue with Pakistan’s Imran Khan-led government and whether India would participate in the Saarc meet that Islamabad will host this year, Modi seemed to steer clear of any definite answers.

“I have always said that we wish to have good neighbourly 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 said.

India-Pakistan peace talks stalled in 2013 and efforts to get them started have come to naught, mainly due to several militant attacks in India seen as perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.

Modi had met the then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif several times and also visited Pakistan in a surprise stopover on his way back from an official trip to Russia in December 2015. But an attack on India’s Pathankot Air Force station in January 2016 scuttled plans for a revival of peace talks.

India also skipped the 2016 Saarc summit in Islamabad after another attack on an army garrison in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, left 18 soldiers dead.

The 25 July Pakistan elections, which has seen cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) emerging as the single largest party with 116 seats, has however ignited hopes of a thaw in India-Pakistan ties.

Khan who was to take oath on 11 August, is now expected to be sworn in on 18 August, according to Pakistani media reports quoting PTI senator Faisal Javed. The PTI last Monday formally announced Khan as the prime ministerial candidate.

In a statement on 28 July, India’s foreign ministry said that New Delhi desired a “prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours”. The statement had also added that New Delhi hoped the newly elected government would work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia.

India’s comments followed remarks by Imran Khan on 26 July in which he said he wanted to have good relations with India and work to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue.

“We should sit across (the table) and resolve the issues instead of we blaming India for problems in Balochistan and they blame us for problems in Kashmir. I can say that if you (India) will take one step forward, we will take two steps forward,” Khan had said.

On 30 July, Prime Minister Modi, in a telephone conversation, congratulated Imran Khan on his party emerging as the single largest party in Pakistan elections and also “reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood,” an Indian foreign ministry statement said.

On Friday, Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, called on Imran Khan and put forth India’s concerns on terrorism and cross border infiltration besides gifting Khan a bat autographed by the entire Indian cricket team.