Sharif to attend Modi swearing-in
New Delhi: Nawaz Sharif to Attend Narendra Modi Swearing-in, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister here on Monday.
New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister here on Monday. Modi’s meeting with Sharif, one among the first official engagements after assuming charge, is symbolic as it would send strong signals not only abroad but also domestically. All the other, Heads of Government of SAARC countries have already confirmed their participation. Nawaz Sharif’s participation was confirmed by Pakistan Prime Minister's Advisor Tariq Azim. He cautioned that nothing big should be expected from the visit and everyone should scale down their expectations. Sharif will have bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister on Tuesday, followed by his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee. Sharif will return to Pakistan the same day. Sharif will be accompanied by his daughter Maryam, Advisor Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Secretary Tariz Fatemi.
Tariq Azim said, “We feel that too much has been said and too much apprehension has been shown towards the Indian Prime Minister. He has got the mandate and we believe that we can work with anyone, who is elected as the leader.” Similarly, Indian leadership here is excited about the visit of the SAARC leaders, especially Nawaz Sharif. BJP leader Arun Jaitley stated, “It will showcase India’s democracy and strength,” though he, too, felt that the visit should not be looked in the prism of the bilateral.
Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif meeting will afford an opportunity to both the leaders to know each other better and assess how best to carry forward the bilateral dialogue process. Since it is a preliminary meeting, the two leaders will try to assess and understand each other and try to carry forward the peace process.
Modi’s meeting with Nawaz Sharief, one of its first meetings after taking-over as Prime Minister, will send out the right signals to the Indian Muslims, who were wary of the Hindutva-icon assuming the topmost position. Modi’s determination of having his way can be gauged in the manner in which he has silenced his vociferous allies like Shiv Sena, who till recently had adopted an aggressive stand towards Pakistan.
Shiv Sena supremo Sanjay Raut chose to be mum on the issue, while earlier Udhav Thackeray had asked BJP to adopt “tit-for-tat” policy towards Pakistan.
Similarly, the Tamil Nadu politicians like MDMK supremo Vaiko and PMK leader Ramdoss, the allies of the BJP, who had protested against the invite sent to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, have also been reined in.
Modi’s meeting with Sharif is expected to mark a new beginning, as he seeks to grapple with the knotty issue of India-Pakistan relations. Modi will have the extremely difficult and tough task in starting a new channel of communication with Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan, especially in the wake of the attack on Indian Consulate in Herat in Afghanistan.
Besides Nawaz Sharif, all the other SAARC leaders have already sent in their confirmations, like Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. Bangladesh Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will be representing her country at the swearing-in ceremony. Besides, Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam is also attending the oath-taking of Modi.