Will Modi’s involvement in Pakistan worsen ties during the India Election 2024 campaign?

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Islamabad, Pakistan – Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s former information minister, unintentionally stirred up controversy with a three-word post on social media platform X on May 1. The post, which featured a video clip of Indian politician Rahul Gandhi criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party, went viral and sparked a heated conversation about India’s ongoing election campaign.

Chaudhry’s post received over 1.8 million views, 1,800 retweets, and 1,500 replies. BJP’s Amit Malviya accused Chaudhry of promoting Gandhi and questioned if Congress was planning to contest elections in Pakistan.

Modi later referenced Chaudhry’s post during an election rally, accusing Pakistan of backing Congress to make Gandhi the prime minister. The increased focus on Pakistan in Modi’s speeches contrasts with the previous months of campaigning where relations between the two countries were not a dominant theme.

Pakistan’s government criticized Modi and Shah’s comments, calling their obsession with Pakistan unhealthy and aimed at exploiting hyper-nationalism for electoral gains. Despite the backlash, Chaudhry continued to emphasize the potential unity of religious minorities in India against the BJP.

As India heads into elections with Modi and BJP as front-runners, the references to Pakistan in the campaign have raised concerns about deteriorating ties between the two countries. Some experts believe that despite the rhetoric, improving relations between India and Pakistan could be in the interest of both nations, especially with the growing threat from China.

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