New Delhi, Aug 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed the hope that Pakistan will work for a South Asia free of terrorism. “We hope that Pakistan would work for a safe, secure, stable and prosperous region, free from terror and violence,” Modi said in an interview to the Times of India published on Sunday.

Modi said good neighbourly relations to promote peace and prosperity in the region were vital for New Delhi’s Neighbourhood First policy. “For this, we have taken several well-known initiatives from the beginning of our term.”

Modi has congratulated cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan on his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) victory in this year’s general elections.

Pakistan went to polls on July 25 and the PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats after the Election Commission of Pakistan released the complete results for 270 of 272 National Assembly (NA) constituencies. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which won 64 seats came second, while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) bagged 43 seats and finished third.

The election was marred by tedious counting, violence and allegations of rigging by major political parties, including the PML-N and PPP. The opposition parties had rejected the results and demanded a transparent re-election. The PTI has claimed that it had enough numbers to form the government at the centre in coalition with other smaller parties. The party on Monday formally announced Khan as the new Pakistan Prime Ministerial candidate. Local media also said that from India, cricketers Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Singh Sidhu had been invited for the oath-taking ceremony.