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Good news that Nawaz Sharif is attending Narendra Modi's swearing in, say Indian politicians

Saturday, 24 May 2014 - 2:20pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI

  • modi-sharif Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (left) and Indian Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi (right) AFP

Cutting across party lines, Indian politicians on Saturday welcomed the news of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepting India's invitation to attend the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi.

Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) leader KC Tyagi lauded Sharif's decision, saying: "We welcome Shri Nawaz Sharif's visit to India. We also welcome Modi's changed policies, as during the poll campaign he spoke against Pakistan."

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar also welcomed the news and said it will mark a new beginning in the relations between India and Pakistan. "It is very good news that Nawaz Sharif has accepted Modi's invitation. This will mark a start of a new relationship between India and Pakistan," said Javadekar to ANI.

Congress Party leader Rashid Alvi said, "It is good news that he is visiting India. It is an opportunity to hold meeting with him and important issues should be raised such as Dawood Ibrahim and beheading of Indian soldiers. Terrorism is another issue that should be raised with seriousness."

"We hope that these issues are raised in the meeting," he added.

Another Congress leader, Manish Tewari, told ANI: "If the prime minster of Pakistan has agreed to come, that's a call which he has taken. What is important to underscore or underline is that the BJP has had a consistent position over the past ten years; terror and talks cannot go hand in hand."

Tewari added, "The BJP government has been raising the question of the slow pace of the 26/11 trials, the culpability of people in Pakistan, especially people like Hafiz Saeed whose culpability has weighed very heavily with the BJP in terms of attacks from Pakistan soil, which were targeted India and the return of Dawood Ibrahim, who allegedly is being sheltered by the establishment in Pakistan for the past ten years. Now Modi needs to discuss them with Sharif."

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Very glad to hear Pak PM has accepted invite, shows that he can prevail over forces inimical to good relations with India. I hope that this will mark a new beginning in ties between our two countries. The people of J&K will be watching closely."

"Can't help feel sorry for others taking oath or attending, because, the only photo op that will matter now will be the Modi-Sharif handshake," he further tweeted.

Sharif has accepted India's invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Modi on Monday evening. Television channels had earlier quoted Sharif's media advisor Tariq Azim, as saying that Sharif will fly to New Delhi for the event. Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaz Aziz is also expected to accompany him.

Nawaz Sharif will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Delhi and hold bilateral talks with Modi on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony, according to Pakistan government sources.

India has invited leaders of all South Asian countries, including Nawaz Sharif to Modi's oath-taking ceremony scheduled for May 26. The swearing-in ceremony, to be held at the forecourt of the historic Rashtrapati Bhavan, is likely to be attended by as many as 3,000 guests, the report added.

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