Narendra Modi wins hearts across the border

All eyes are on New Delhi for the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi on May 26. Modi has scored a perfect goal by reaching out to Pakistan with his invitation for the swearing-in ceremony. Pakistan had acknowledged receiving invitation from India for this grand event on Monday. But earlier, there was no official word on whether the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would accept the invitation or not.
Why invitation to SAARC countries is Modi’s master stroke
There was a lot of curiosity on both the sides and the observers were eager to know Pakistan’s response. Though, Pakistan has a democratically-elected Government headed by Nawaz Sharif, the foreign affairs are managed by the all-powerful Army of Pakistan. There were doubts about Nawaz Sharif accepting the invitation, since the hard liners might frown upon the idea of Nawaz Sharif rubbing shoulders with Narendra Modi at the latter’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi.
Finally, Pakistan has accepted the invitation and Nawaz Sharif will attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday and he will be accompanied by Sartaz Aziz who is Pakistan’s Foreign Minister. Though, Narendra Modi has sent out invitations to the heads of all the SAARC nations to attend his swearing-in ceremony, his master stroke of reaching out to Pakistan can be termed as a cut above the rest, given the hostility surrounding the relations between the two countries.
Will Pakistan’s ‘Lion of Punjab’ live up to his moniker?
Narendra Modi’s foreign policy has always been a source of great curiosity right from the day he was declared as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. The observers were interested in seeing how Modi takes up the irritating challenge called Pakistan and what strategy he formulates to deal with it. Going by his large hearted gesture of sending an invitation to Pakistan, one can safely assume that Modi will leave no stone unturned to improve ties with Pakistan. This reconciliatory gesture on Narendra Modi’s part has come as a sigh of relief to the regime in Islamabad, which had been watching the development in our country with respect to new regime to be led by Narendra Modi with great apprehension and curiosity.
That said, Nawaz Sharif, too, has shown the courage to rise above occasion by accepting this invitation from his would be Indian counterpart. Pakistan appears to be interested in taking the peace process forward under Narendra Modi-led India because Modi’s larger than life popularity has transcended all borders. He is a popular figure in Pakistan too, thanks to his no-nonsense approach to governance and emphasis on development for all. Pakistan knows that good relations with India can open up doors for vast business opportunities for its traders which can result in a resurgent economy for the beleaguered Pakistan.
What Modi’s invitation to Pakistan means
Of course, there are grave challenges that the hard liners within the Army establishment of Pakistan may pose for Nawaz Sharif, while he is dealing with Narendra Modi. But by accepting this invitation from Narendra Modi he has shown that he is committed to scripting a new chapter in the relationship with India. The credit for its change of attitude in Pakistan’s outlook towards India goes to Narendra Modi who has started winning hearts globally, by living up to his motto of ‘Sabka saath, Sabka Vikaas’.

Courtesy : Niti Central

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