India polls: Pakistan PM congratulates Modi on election win

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called India's Narendra Modi on Friday to congratulate him on his party's landslide general election win.

A statement from Mr Sharif's office said he spoke to Mr Modi, the leader of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to hail the "impressive victory".

Preliminary results following India's six-week election showed the BJP on course for the first parliamentary majority by a single party in 30 years.

Since his own election victory in May last year, Mr Sharif has sought to improve ties with Pakistan's giant neighbour and arch-rival.

But there have been fears that a victory for Mr Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP could signal bumpy times ahead for the two nuclear powers.

Mr Modi has long been held in deep suspicion in Pakistan for his association with bloody anti-Muslim riots in his home state of Gujarat in 2002.

India's outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in January that Mr Modi would be "disastrous for the country" after "presiding over the massacre of innocents".

He was boycotted by the US and European powers over the riots, which left around 1,000 people dead.

Mr Modi denies turning a blind eye to the bloodshed and investigators have never found evidence of wrongdoing.