Imran swearing-in: PTI consults Pak foreign office on inviting Saarc leaders including PM Modi
With speculation growing over prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan's intent to invite PM Modi during the swearning-in ceremony, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) senior leaders Shireen Mazari and Shafqat Mahmood met Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Thursday to understand foreign leaders who could be invited on short notice, Dawn TV reported.
Dawn TV reported that Imran's PTI wished to invite leaders from Saarc member states, including PM Modi. The report said leaders from China and Turkey were also part of the wishlist.
Meanwhile, PTI invited ex-Indian cricketers to Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony this month.
PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said the party had invited former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu to the ceremony, all of whom once played cricket with the PTI chief.
The party’s spokesperson also claimed an invite was also extended to Bollywood star Aamir Khan. Indian media reported that Aamir Khan called up Imran to congratualte him on his election success.
Chaudhry confirmed the party had approached the Pakistan foreign office regarding inviting foreign dignitaries. Chaudhry said the party was awaiting a response from the foreign office.
"Initial arguments from the FO suggested that the office believes Pakistan would face a bigger embarrassment if the Indian PM declined the invitation," Dawn TV said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Modi had telephoned Imran Khan to congratulate him on his party's victory in the general elections and hoped that "Pakistan and India will work to open a new chapter in bilateral ties".
Khan thanked Modi for his wishes and emphasised that disputes should be resolved "through dialogue".
India and Pakistan ties have nosedived in the past few years with increasing incidents of violence in J&K and India's surgical strikes across the border in September, 2016.
The Indian government has maintained that talks with Pakistan can come about only if cross-border terrorism stops and violence in Kashmir comes to an end.