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Will Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attend Narendra Modi's oath ceremony?

Thursday, 22 May 2014 - 2:27pm IST | Agency: DNA Webdesk

As per the desire of Prime Minister elect Narendra Modi, invitations were sent out to heads of states of South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations requesting them to be a part of Modi's swearing in ceremony in New Delhi on Monday, May 26. The BJP leader, who won the Lok Sabha elections with landslide victory, has also invited his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif, to be part of the event. 

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) processed invites to leaders from the eight-member SAARC for Modi's swearing in, including Nawaz Sharif, who will be on the guest list, spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman said.

PM Sharif is, however, yet to confirm. He is still considering whether or not to attend the swearing in ceremony, and a final decision will be taken by Thursday evening after consultations with Pakistan's civil and military leaders, officials said. Pakistan's foreign office has confirmed that the formal invitation has been received, but any decision by the prime minister to attend the ceremony on May 26 in New Delhi has not been taken as yet. Read more

Afghanistan's head of state Hamid Karzai has confirmed his presence, while Bangladesh will be sending Parliament speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury to attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony.

Modi's move to invite the leaders of neighbouring countries for his swearing in was lauded by leaders across parties, including the Congress' Shashi Tharoor and Digvijay Singh.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also tweeted, "Excellent move by Narendra Modi to invite Saarc leaders, specially Pak PM for his swearing-in. Hope this is the beginning of sustained talk,''.

ALSO READ: Congress leaders take jibes at Narendra Modi's invite to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif; term it as hypocrisy

The United States also welcomed the Indian government's initiative and said increased engagement between India and Pakistan is a "positive step". "Broadly speaking, we welcome increased engagement between India and Pakistan and their leaders and other leaders in the region and India's engagement with its neighbours leading up to the inauguration," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters. Read more 

ALSO READ: Swearing-in: Who's on Narendra Modi's invitation list?




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