PM Imran Khan not to be invited for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

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28 May, 2019 12:02 am

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India will not invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi, who starts his second term as India’s prime minister, two sources in the foreign ministry said, suggesting any early warming in ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours is unlikely.

An Indian government statement on Monday said the leaders of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan – all members, with India, of the little-known Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) – have been invited to Modi’s swearing-in.

“This is in line with government’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” a government spokesman said.

The leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Mauritius have also been invited, but two sources in Indian’s foreign ministry said Pakistan will not be on the list, without providing further information.

For the swearing-in ceremony for Modi’s first term in 2014, all nations from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), that includes Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Maldives, were invited.

In 2014 Pakistan’s then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the ceremony, to the anger of some of Modi’s Hindu-nationalist allies. Modi and Khan both claimed their air forces carried out air strikes in enemy territory in March, to the alarm of world powers.

Modi likely to meet Imran Khan SCO summit

Modi could still meet Imran Khan at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Kyrgyzstan next month, that both leaders may attend. A spokesman for Pakistan’s embassy in New Delhi was not immediately available for comment.

PM phones Modi to congratulate him on his election victory

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on his party’s electoral victory in Lok Sabha elections.

This was stated by Foreign office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal in a tweet today. He said Prime Minister expressed his desire for both countries to work together for betterment of their peoples.

“PM spoke to PM Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in Lok Sabha elections in India. PM expressed his desire for both countries to work together for betterment of their peoples,” the FO spokesperson tweeted.

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