Islamabad: Pakistan's newly-elected prime minister has offered to start a dialogue with India to resolve long-running disputes between the neighbours, including over the Kashmir region.

Imran Khan, a former cricket star who was sworn in last week, tweeted that the two countries should focus on alleviating poverty in South Asia by pursuing new trade agreements.

“To move forward Pakistan and India must dialogue and resolve their conflicts incl Kashmir: The best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue and start trading (sic),” Khan tweeted on Tuesday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Khan after his swearing-in and expressed a desire for talks.

Khan's inauguration was attended by former India batsman and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who faced criticism upon his return to India.

Also read: Sidhu calls hug with Pakistan Army chief 'emotional moment'

Khan thanked his longtime friend Sidhu, calling him an "ambassador of peace," and said his detractors were doing a "disservice" to peace in the subcontinent.

"Without peace our people cannot progress" Khan said.

"I want to thank Sidhu for coming to Pakistan for my oath taking. He was an ambassador of peace & was given amazing love & affection by ppl of Pakistan. Those in India who targeted him are doing a gt disservice to peace in the subcontinent - without peace our ppl cannot progress (sic)," Khan, who led Pakistan to 1992 cricket World Cup glory, tweeted.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

Pakistan's new Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said Tuesday that a cease-fire along the Line of Control (LoC) dividing the two zones was in the interest of both countries.

India and Pakistan signed a cease-fire agreement in 2003, but the two regularly exchange fire across the LoC, killing and injuring civilians on both sides.

Qureshi also acknowledged the long history of strained relations between Pakistan and the United States, saying Pakistan would insist on relations based on "respect and trust."

The US has long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to the Afghan Taliban and other militants who carry out attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan against US and Afghan forces. Pakistan denies the allegations.

"We have rendered great sacrifices in the war against terrorism," Qureshi said, adding that he looked forward to meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is expected to visit the region in September.