PM Shehbaz Sharif congratulates Narendra Modi on re-election in India

On Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended congratulations to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on his re-election, nearly a week after the election results were announced.

“Felicitations to Narendra Modi on taking oath as the prime minister of India,” PM Shehbaz posted on X (formerly Twitter), marking the first official comments from Pakistan regarding Modi’s re-election.

Modi was sworn in on Sunday during a ceremony attended by leaders from Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Notably, China and Pakistan were absent from the event.

This moment contrasts with 2014 when Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz’s brother and then-Prime Minister of Pakistan, attended Modi’s inauguration — a historic first for the nuclear-armed neighbours.

However, bilateral relations have significantly deteriorated over the past decade under Modi’s leadership, which has seen a rise in Hindu nationalist policies. In 2019, ties further worsened when Pakistan suspended bilateral trade and downgraded diplomatic relations with India following Modi’s revocation of the limited autonomy of Indian-held Kashmir, a move that was widely celebrated in India.

Despite the strained relations, PM Shehbaz has previously indicated a desire to improve ties with India.

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