Uncertainty over whether Pakistan would invite Modi for Imran's oath-taking function
01 August 2018
Will he, or won’t he? – that is the question on the minds of top bureaucrats both in Islamabad and New Delhi, as they wonder whether Imran Khan, likely to be sworn in as Prime Minister, will invite Narendra Modi.
While there has been speculation that Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is considering inviting Modi and other leaders of the SAARC for the oath-taking ceremony, some in his party have scotched such rumours.
A news agency on Tuesday claimed that the PTI had rebuffed reports about plans to invite foreign dignitaries to the oath-taking ceremony. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry also tweeted that his party would take a decision only after consulting the foreign office.
“Media speculations about international dignitaries attending PM-designate Imran Khan's oath ceremony are not correct,” tweeted Chaudhry. “We have sought the advice of Foreign Office on the matter and will decide accordingly.”
However, an unnamed official of the PTI told an Indian news agency that the core committee of the party is considering inviting SAARC leaders including Modi.
The oath-taking ceremony is expected to take place on 11 August. Though the PTI has emerged as the single-largest party, it is still short of numbers to form a government on its own.
Prime Minister Modi called Khan on Monday to congratulate him on PTI’s emergence as the single-largest party in the elections.
While the former cricketer was critical of India during the election campaign and before the results were announced, he now appears to have adopted a softer tone.
“If India's leadership is ready, we are ready to improve ties with it,” he said in his victory speech. “If you take one step forward, we will take two steps forward.” Better ties with India would be good for both countries, he added.