Modi reaches out to Pak PM

Modi reaches out to Pak PM

New Delhi: Modi Reaches Out to Pakistan Prime Minister, the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Sharif is likely to attend the ceremony along with Afghanistan President Hamid Karjzai, who has given his confirmation.

New Delhi: In a historic move, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with Heads of Governments of SAARC countries, has been invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Sharif is likely to attend the ceremony along with Afghanistan President Hamid Karjzai, who has given his confirmation. The ceremony will be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26.

New Delhi: Modi Reaches Out to Pakistan Prime Minister

Modi, who till recently took jibes against Pakistan and termed Musharraf as Mian Musharraf, is keen that he should start his innings as Prime Minister with a clean slate, sending across the message of goodwill and brotherhood to the neighbours. It is for the first time that the SAARC Heads of Government would be attending the oath-taking ceremony of an Indian Prime Minister.

Modi’s top priority is to build friendly relations with the SAARC countries, namely Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Now, that polls are over, Modi does not want to let go any opportunity that could cement India’s ties with the neighbours. MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted that Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh wrote to her counterparts in SAARC countries, inviting their Heads of Government for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

Modi, who is giving indications of a mellowed person, different from his aggressive image seen during the campaign, is keen to project himself as a serious administrator, who wants to rectify the wrongs of his predecessor. He would prefer to play the role of a Statesman in the neighbourhood, first gaining their confidence by reaching out to them and extending the hand of friendship.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, there is global concern over the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, as both are nuclear powers. There is widespread desire and hope for a thaw between the two countries. It was during the tenure of Atal Behari Vajpayee as the External Affairs Minister in the Janata Party Government of Morarji Desai that a strong pitch for improving relations was made. Again, it was during the Vajpayee Government that the then Prime Minister Vajpayee made his famous Bus Yatra to Lahore at the invitation of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Once again, as BJP Government is set to assume office, Modi has embarked on yet another significant initiative with Pakistan that could really pay off. Political observers are attaching considerable importance to such an initiative, as it marks a departure from Modi’s campaign pitch, when he declared that there can be no talks with Pakistan until it dismantles the terror infrastructure on its soil and stops exporting terrorism to India.

In fact, the BJP had made the Indo-Pakistan Joint Statement of January 6, 2004, issued on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in Pakistan as its benchmark. In the Joint Statement, it was specifically mentioned, “Pakistan President Musharraf reassured Prime Minister Vajpayee that he will not permit any territory under Pakistan's control to be used to support terrorism in any manner. Pakistan President Musharraf emphasized that a sustained and productive dialogue addressing all issues would lead to positive results.”

Modi is keen to take Indo-Pak relations to new heights, building the relations on trust and bonhomie that could pave the way for a peaceful border along Pakistan, which of late has been witnessing several skirmishes.

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