Nawaz Sharif to Attend Narendra Modi’s Swearing-In Ceremony
NEW DELHI : : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday, according to sources in Pakistan government.Mr Modi will take the oath as Prime Minister after his BJP scored a landslide victory, securing the first majority by a single party in 30 years.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai are among seven world leaders who have confirmed that they will attend the oath ceremony.Invitations were sent to all heads of government from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said Mr Modi will hold individual meetings with the leaders the day after his inauguration.
Yesterday, Mr Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif had tweeted, “I personally think cordial relations with new Indian govt should be cultivated. Will help remove psychological barriers, fear & misgivings. (sic)” Mr Sharif’s media advisor Tariq Azim had said Mr Modi’s invitation was a “bold and an unexpected” move.
“Mr Sharif does not share the anxiety that is felt by some quarters here in Pakistan because he has got some very fond memories of the previous BJP Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee coming to Lahore and he hopes that this anxiety about Modi and his past will fade away,” Mr Azim told.
After his own election last year, Mr Sharif’s administration had suggested that the Indian PM be invited to attend his inauguration ceremony, but Manmohan Singh had declined.
Mr Modi’s move signals a big shift in his party, the BJP’s position on Pakistan. While campaigning for the general election, Mr Modi had attacked the Congress-led UPA government for what he called a “stagnated” and “weak” foreign policy.