Looking forward to meeting with Modi, says Nawaz

Sartaj Aziz, Tariq Fatemi, Javed Aslam, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Hussain Nawaz accompanying Nawaz on his trip.

Web Desk May 26, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif waves upon his arrival at the airport in New Delhi May 26, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: Upon arriving in New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of India’s incoming premier Narendra Modi , Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he is looking forward to his meeting with Modi, Express News reported on Monday.

In an interview with an Indian television channel, Nawaz said the meeting is crucial for both countries. He also added that ties between the two countries should improve.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Policy Sartaj Aziz, Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, PM Principal Secretary Javed Aslam, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and premier's son Hussain Nawaz are accompanying Nawaz on his trip.

Nawaz on May 24 had accepted Modi's invitation to the swearing-in ceremony – a development welcomed on both sides of the border.

The premier, while speaking to the Indian media, said that better relations with India were the top priority, further stating that he was going to India with a message of peace.

Nawaz also said that "negotiations were the only solution to the problems between the two countries."

On May 22, The Express Tribune reported that the prime minister is likely to travel to New Delhi to attend the ceremony, even though the Foreign Office spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam, had said that a decision had not been made at that point.

In addition, a senior official, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Express Tribune on May 23 that a bilateral meeting between Nawaz and Modi has already been fixed if “our prime minister decides to visit.”

Nawaz will hold bilateral talks with Modi on May 27 and will also meet Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

Modi will be sworn in as the 15th prime minister of India by President Mukherjee.

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. The decision to accept India’s unprecedented invitation was taken after consultations with all the stakeholders, said a foreign office official.

On May 21, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader invited Nawaz to his swearing-in ceremony following his party’s landslide win in the Lok Sabha election.

This latest gesture is considered significant, considering Modi’s anti-Pakistan rhetoric during his election campaign.

Modi’s invitation has inspired hopes that the change in government will lead to improved relations between the two countries.

Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, to be held at the forecourt of the historic Rashtrapati Bhavan, is likely to be attended by as many as 3,000 guests.

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COMMENTS (53)

Jag Nathan | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@Gul: Do you think any of your wars with India worked?

Timorlane | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@observer: I think after monopolizing the poultry business in Punjab the Sharif family wants to monopolize the commodity markets in Pakistan by importing cheap from India to make huge money, money is what Sharif family appears concerned above petty things like Pakistan's interests

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