PAKISTAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has arrived in New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of India’s incoming premier Narendra Modi. Being optimistic and expressing the significance of his trip, Nawaz has said that his meeting with Modi is crucial for both countries.
Nawaz is among a clutch of regional leaders who will be attending Modi’s inauguration. This is the first time in the history of India that a Pakistani prime minister has been invited to the oath-taking ceremony of an Indian premier.
Modi has been sworn in as the 15th prime minister of India by President Mukherjee. Nawaz will hold bilateral talks with Modi on May 27 and will also meet Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi on Monday for the swearing-in ceremony of his incoming Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a symbolic meeting of the two regional rivals.
PM Nawaz smiled and waved to television cameras after landing at the capital´s main airport, where he was greeted by Indian dignitaries and given a bouquet, ahead of the ceremony later Monday.
Modi´s invitation to Nawaz Sharif has been interpreted as a significant olive branch to India´s neighbour and it marks the first time that a leader from either country has attended his counterpart´s inauguration since independence in 1947.
Talking to media men at the Lahore Airport, PM Nawaz said that he is visiting India with the message of peace as dialogue is the only solution to our problems. He said that positive relationship with all the neighbouring countries including India is his prime preference.
The officials who are accompanying the prime minister include Advisor to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Political Secretary Asif Kirmani and the premier’s son Hussain Nawaz.
PM Nawaz will hold a one-on-one meeting with the newly elect Indian prime minister on Tuesday to discuss the bilateral relations and revival of cricket in Pakistan.
PM Nawaz, who has hailed Modi´s “impressive victory”, accepted the invite, which was extended to all heads of government from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that includes Pakistan.
Relations warmed slightly toward the end of the term of outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but still remain frosty, with mutual distrust and regular skirmishes along their disputed Kashmir border.