Modi's Invitation to Pakistan

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi has invited leaders of SAARC to his oath taking ceremony as Prime Minister on May 26, in a bold step to embark on a policy of regional engagement. Both Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa have confirmed their attendance. However, official confirmation from Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office has yet to come.
According to sources, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen could attend the ceremony. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is travelling to Japan but she is likely to send the country’s Speaker for the function.
Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will represent Bangladesh at the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on May 26.
“She (Chaudhury) will represent Bangladesh at the ceremony since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be on a pre-scheduled visit to Japan on that day,” a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.
SAARC nation heads invited for Modi swearing-in
It was also reported that Pakistan has welcomed Modi’s gesture, calling it a bold move. There is no formal response from Islamabad yet but sources say it is likely to announce its representative later today. After his own election last year, Sharif’s administration had also suggested that the Indian PM be invited to attend his inauguration ceremony, but Dr Manmohan Singh had declined.
The invitations were sent by India’s Ministry of External Affairs. Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, “This is to signal to our neighbours that the new Government wants direct and peaceful relations. Political leaders in Kashmir have welcomed the move. Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party said, “It’s good omen to invite the Pakistani PM on Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.”
“Excellent move by @narendramodi to invite SAARC leaders, especially Pak PM for his swearing-in. Hope this is beginning of sustained talks (sic),” Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
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But the BJP’s southern ally MDMK’s Vaiko has opposed the participation of the Sri Lanka President. Several other Tamil political parties allege that human rights violations against Tamils and civilian casualties in Sri  Lanka peaked during the last leg of the war against LTTE with Rajapaksa in charge.

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