- Pak's Imran Khan said he sees better chance of peace talks under PM Modi
- PM, BJP have often accused opposition of "speaking Pakistan's language"
- Opposition leaders seized the chance to get back at the PM and BJP
Hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was quoted as saying he sees a better chance of peace talks with India if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP wins the national election, reactions poured in from the opposition, which is often accused by the Prime Minister and the ruling BJP of "speaking Pakistan's language".
Leaders from the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Jammu and Kashmir politicians Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti seized the chance to get back at the PM and the ruling party.
Imran Khan has said if the next government in India were led by the Congress party, it might be "too scared" to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir, fearing a backlash. "Perhaps if the BJP - a right-wing party - wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached," Imran Khan was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
"Pakistan has officially allied with Modi! A vote for Modi is a vote for Pakistan," tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Sing Surjewala. "Modi-ji, first Nawaz Sharif, now Imran Khan is your friend. The secret is out," he added.
Pak has officially allied with Modi!- Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 10, 2019
'A vote for Modi is a vote for Pakistan', says Pak PM Imran Khan
मोदीजी, पहले नवाज़ शरीफ़ से प्यार और अब ईमरान खान आपका चहेता यार!
ढोल की पोल खुल गयी है।
"Why does Pakistan want Modi-ji to win? PM Modi, please tell the nation how deep your relationship is with Pakitan? All Indians should know that if PM Modi wins then crackers will be burst in Pakistan," tweeted AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
"Pakistan mein macha shor, Narendra Modi once more (There's clamour in Pakistan for a second term for Narendra Modi)" Mr Kejriwal said in another tweet.
Omar Abdullah, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, attacked by PM Modi over his recent comments on a separate PM for the state under the terms of accession, tweeted: "So much for Modi Sahib telling the country only Pakistan and its sympathisers want BJP to lose. Imran Khan has just endorsed him for a 2nd term".
His state rival Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the PDP and a former BJP ally, remarked: "Bhakts scratching their heads & at wit ends wondering if they should praise Imran Khan or not."
Bhakts scratching their heads & at wit ends wondering if they should praise Imran Khan or not. https://t.co/V4pv4u4vgn- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) April 10, 2019
Relations between Pakistan and India worsened dramatically in February after a suicide bombing killed 40 soldiers in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.
Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the attack. Days later, India sent its fighter jets across the border to strike a terror training camp in Pakistan's Balakot. Pakistan responded the next day by sending planes to target Indian military installations.
PM Modi and the BJP's re-election bid are seen to have received a boost from a wave of patriotism after Pulwama and the government's strong response.
While campaigning, the PM has repeatedly targeted the Congress and other opposition parties for raising questions on the impact of the Balakot air strike. These doubts, he often says, embolden Pakistan and help its cause.
Imran Khan, according to the Reuters report, said Islamabad was determined to dismantle all Pakistan-based terror groups in the country, and that the government had full support from Pakistan's Army for the programme.