Pakistan formally received, Wednesday, India’s Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi’s invitation to participate in oath taking ceremony. Pakistan Foreign Officer has confirmed the reports. The ceremony is scheduled for May 26.
According to reports, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is considering the invitation. According to foreign office, the invitation was received from Indian High Commission in Pakistan.
Reportedly, leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries were also invited.
During his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday, Modi reportedly conveyed his keenness to invite world leaders including heads of state of neighbouring countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC. India’s Ministry of External Affairs has begun the process to send the invites.
There is no recent precedent for inviting foreign heads of state when an Indian prime minister has been sworn in. SAARC nations include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and the invitation would send out a strong signal of a neighbour-friendly new government.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also confirmed the invitation.
BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman said all heads of government from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries “have been given invitations to be present at Mr Modi’s swearing in.”
“Yes we have received a formal invitation from the Indian government through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad,” a top source at the Pakistani foreign office told a private TV channel.
However, she said no decision had yet been taken as to who would represent Pakistan in the ceremony.
Sources said Sharif would consult his close aides before taking a decision on the invitation.