PM Imran May Not Be Invited To Modi’s Oath-Taking Ceremony
As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is poised to take oath next Tuesday after his landslide victory on Thursday, the vibes from Delhi suggest he would not invite Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.
By Thursday afternoon everybody knew that Modi, whose BJP used Pulwama terror attack and the military exchange with Pakistan afterwards to his advantage, had secured historic victory.
On Thursday evening, PM Imran Khan sent a congratulatory message through Twitter to the Indian PM on the victory, which was duly acknowledged by the latter. But that was it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first P-5 country to congratulate Modi, but there was long line of world leaders that included French President Emmanuel Macron, Saudi King Salman and Israeli PM Netanyahu. However, there was no phone call from PM Imran Khan. We have yet to find out if any effort was made from the Pakistani side for the same.
Earlier in February, PM Khan had stated while addressing the National Assembly that efforts to hold a telephonic conversation with Modi during the Pulwama crisis to defuse the situation were in vain.
In 2014, when Modi took over as the Indian Prime Minister, then PM Nawaz Sharif and other SAARC leaders were in attendance at the oath-taking ceremony.
Meanwhile, Islamabad is abuzz with speculations over whether or not Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited as a sequel to the 2014 coronation. Sources in the government told Naya Daur that Khan will attend the ceremony if he is invited.
But chatter coming from Delhi suggests that Modi has decided not to hold the SAARC-type oath-taking ceremony this time around. He might invite some leaders of the region he feels very close to, like Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Wajid, but no invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister will be extended.
Some journalists in Delhi told Naya Daur that the Indian PM does not plan on making any effort to normalize relations with Pakistan anytime soon.
Murtaza Solangi is one of Pakistan’s top journalists, and former Director General of Radio Pakistan. He can be reached [email protected]