Imran Khan hopeful of improvement in relations with India after polls


Islamabad: Pakistan will have better relations with its neighbours including India after the upcoming general elections, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday, claiming that Islamabad has taken the first step on a new path to peace and progress.

Recently, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14.

Khan, who announced visa reforms at a ceremony here, said that Pakistan is confident today that it has taken the first step on a new path to peace and progress.

“Pakistan will have better relations with its neighbours,  including India after the end of their elections.”

“We will have good relations with all our neighbours and a peaceful Pakistan will be a prosperous Pakistan,” he said as he announced major visa reforms, including online visa issuance facility, to attract tourists and investors.

The elections in India will begin on April 11 and polling would be held over seven phases through May 19, followed by counting of votes on May 23.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party tweeted that the new e-visa scheme will available to visitors from 175 countries.

“This is the first step to open up the country, the Naya (new) Pakistan,” Khan said, adding that it would revive the confidence of 60s when Pakistan was making fast progress The Prime Minister said that Pakistan would attract religious tourism from all over the world.

“Taxila was the centre of Buddhism. We have discovered a 40ft Buddha ‘ the world’s largest sleeping Buddha ‘ which we have yet to share with the world.”

“Sikhs’ holiest places like Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur were also in Pakistan. We also have very old sites for Hinduism in Pakistan, including Katas Raj,” Khan said.

He also announced that the next season of the Pakistan Super League will be organised in Pakistan instead of Dubai.

Officials said that initially, the e-visa facility will be available to nationals of Turkey, China, Malaysia, the UK and the UAE and later extended to other 170 countries.

Business visas will be given to 90 countries, while 55 countries will be granted visa-on-arrival.