Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif would arrive in New Delhi on May 26 afternoon along with his special assistant Tariq Fatemi, adviser on National Security Sartaj Aziz and foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. He would stay in India for more than 24 hours.
According to spokesperson of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi he would participate in the swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi on May 26 evening along with other representatives from SAARC countries.
After attending the ceremony, Sharif would call on the president Pranab Mukherjee and dine at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sharif would be put up at Taj Man Singh. On May 27, Sharif would have a bilateral meeting with Narendra Modi after meeting of the delegations from both the countries. Later, he would return to the hotel and after a few hours fly back to Pakistan.
During his stay at the hotel, Sharif would get some time to convene any possible meetings, if any. Interestingly, Modi has not sought any briefings from MEA or SAARC desk, while Sharif is arriving with battery of dignitaries.
Sharif's decision to attend the ceremony has already stolen the limelight from the visit of dignitaries of other SAARC countries. Besides leaders from SAARC countries, Mauritius prime minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is likely to attend the ceremony.
"Speaker of Bangladesh, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and prime minister of Bhutan, Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay would arrive in New Delhi on Sunday afternoon," said spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin. Representatives from other SAARC countries could also have bilateral meetings with Modi.
In Kashmir, sepratists have adopted a cautious approach on the issue. "It is a simple oath taking ceremony. Let's wait for some more days and see what Nawaz Sharif would say here," said chairman of hardliner Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He said that the conglomerate has not received any invitation from Pakistan Embassy as of now.
Similarly, chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat welcomed the decision of Sharif but said it should be followed by consistent meeting between the two countries also involving the leadership of Kashmir with in few months. "Modi has been elected with a strong mandate and Sharif also has strong footing in Pakistan. Both the leaders can take significant steps in resolving the Kashmir issue," said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yaseen Malik, said people should not be too hopeful of the meeting. "I do not see any huge political significance of the meeting. It is an oath taking ceremonies. Lets see how both the leaders would follow it up," he said.
Senior Hurriyat leader and chairman National Front, Nayeem Khan said, "We welcome cordial relationship between the two countries, but it should not happen at he colossal sacrifices of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Sharief should not get swayed by the symbolic gesture, but convey his stand on Kashmir without any ambiguity."
In Delhi, BJP's senior leader Arun Jaitley said the presence of SAARC leaders in oath taking ceremony is to showcase strength of India's democracy and it should not be viewed through the prism of bilateral issues.