Modi welcomes release of Indian fishermen by Pakistan, Lanka

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on Sunday welcomed the steps taken by Sri Lanka and Pakistan to release Indian fishermen, to coincide with his swearing-in today.

He also welcomed the leaders from SAARC nations and Mauritius for the swearing-in ceremony and said their presence will make the occasion "more memorable".

"I welcome the step by Sri Lanka and Pakistan to release our fishermen. I welcome our fishermen brothers back home!" Modi tweeted.

The swearing-in ceremony will be attended by nearly 4,000 guests, including top leaders from SAARC countries like Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

While Rajapaksa has ordered release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody, Pakistan today freed 151 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture.

"Great having leaders from SAARC nations & Mauritius join us during the ceremony. Their presence will make the occasion more memorable," Modi said on the micro-blogging website.

Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay and Bangladesh Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury have already arrived to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Modi was also due to visit Rajghat at 7 this moring to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi ahead of being sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister.

"Tomorrow, will begin the day by visiting Raj Ghat & paying my respects to Pujya Bapu," Modi tweeted.

A host of leaders, including outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, besides leaders of various other parties and chief ministers of a number of states will also attend the function.