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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

No invite for PM to attend Sharif swearing-in: MEA

PTI  New Delhi, May 14, 2013
First Published: 20:52 IST(14/5/2013) | Last Updated: 21:00 IST(14/5/2013)

There is no invitation for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who will be forming the next government there.

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"There is no specific proposal on the table of a specific request for a specific occasion," Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson in the ministry of external affairs told reporters when asked if there was an invite for the Prime Minister to attend Sharif's swearing-in.

However, he said that Prime Minister Singh had called up Sharif to congratulate him and had extended an invitation to him to visit India on a mutually convenient date.

"During the course of that conversations, Sharif also extended a similar invitation to the Prime Minister.

"And on the diplomatic agenda, these were the two issues that I am aware of following which the Prime Minister then did write to Sharif... Other than that on the diplomatic agenda, no other specific proposals has been received or even heard of except through media," Akbaruddin said.

Sharif had said in Lahore on Monday that he would be "very happy" to invite Prime Minister Singh to his swearing-in for a record third term as premier.

"I will be very happy to extend that invitation. If they will come, it will be a great pleasure for me and for Pakistan," Sharif had told a group of foreign journalists when asked if he would invite Singh to his swearing-in ceremony.

Asked if Singh would visit Pakistan, Akbaruddin said, "Prime Minister has previously said that he would like to visit Pakistan. This is a stated position. At this stage there is no specific proposal on the table of a specific request for a specific occasion."

"Let's wait for specific proposals on this. As I said we are in direct contact through diplomatic channels. These diplomatic channels have functioned very well...."

He added, "...I would like to assure you, should that happen, it would be through these mechanisms and we would share them with you".


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