Imran’s Party Rejects Reports Of Inviting PM Modi For Oath Ceremony

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Islamabad: The Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is all set to form a new government in Pakistan, on Tuesday rejected reports that it was mulling to invite foreign leaders to attend the oath-taking ceremony of its chief Imran Khan.

News agency ANI reported that ”Tehreek-e-Insaf has rebuffed reports, which claimed that the party was planning to invite foreign dignitaries to the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s Prime Minister,” adding that ”the decision on the same was pending”.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday took to his Twitter handle and stated that his party would take the decision regarding the same after consulting with Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

The clarification from the party came in the light of reports that leaders of SAARC-member states, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, may be invited to attend Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony.

“Media speculations about international dignitaries attending PM-designate Imran Khan’s oath ceremony are not correct. We have sought the advice of Foreign Office on the matter and will decide accordingly,” Chaudhry tweeted.

Earlier in the day, there were media reports suggesting that PTI was considering to invite leaders from the SAARC countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to attend Imran’s oath-taking ceremony scheduled to be held on August 11.

Despite emerging as the largest party, 65-year-old Khan’s PTI is still short of numbers to form the government on its own. However, addressing a press brining, Khan had on Monday hinted that he would take oath as Prime Minister possibly on August 11.

In a goodwill gesture, PM Modi too called up Khan and congratulated him for his victory in the polls.

While congratulating Khan, PM Modi hoped that “Pakistan and India will work to open a new chapter in bilateral ties”.

Khan, on his part, termed PM Modi’s telephone call as a welcoming sign, which marked the beginning of a new chapter in relations between the two countries. This triggered speculation about PM Modi attending Khan’s oath ceremony.

Khan in his victory speech had also said that better relations between Pakistan and India would be “good for all of us”.

The relations between India and Pakistan have remained tense since 2014.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had travelled to Delhi to attend PM Modi’s oath-taking ceremony and the Indian premier had in December 2015 made a brief stopover in Lahore to greet his counterpart on his birthday.

The India-Pakistan ties further nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.

The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and Indian Army’s surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The sentencing of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to death by a military court in Pakistan in April last year dealt a major blow to bilateral ties.

The two sides have often accused each other of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, resulting in civilian casualties.

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