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HindustanTimes Thu,30 Oct 2014

BJP delighted at Sharif's nod, Cong wants terror issues raised

PTI  New Delhi, May 24, 2014
First Published: 13:49 IST(24/5/2014) | Last Updated: 13:51 IST(24/5/2014)

BJP on Saturday expressed "delight" at the decision of Nawaz Sharif to attend the oath taking ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister while Congress asked the new government to raise issues such as cross-border terrorism, slow pace of trial of 26/11 attacks and handing over of Dawood Ibrahim with the Pakistan premier.

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"This is a delightful piece of news that the Pakistan Prime Minister has accepted Narendra Modi's invitation... this is the beginning of a new relationship. It is good news," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in New Delhi.

He said Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar are India's neighbours. "And neighbours cannot be changed," he said.

But Congress reacted cautiously to the development. Outgoing Union minister Manish Tewari reminded that BJP has all along maintained that terror and talks cannot go together.

He hoped that after assuming office, the BJP government would raise the issue of slow pace of trail of 26/11 attacks - an issue "which had been troubling them." He also said the issue of people like Hafiz Saeed should also be raised.

"They have also periodically been raising the issue of the return of Dawood Ibrahim, who allegedly is being sheltered by the establishment in Pakistan. So, we hope that BJP remains true to the position it has taken over the past ten years and raises these issues with the Prime Minister of Pakistan when he comes to India," Tewari said.

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said photo opportunities are okay but in the euphoria of coronation, Modi should not compromise national interest.

"According to BJP, terror modules and Dawood are still active in Pakistan," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted welcoming the decision of Sharif to attend the swearing in.

"Very glad to hear Pak PM has accepted invite, shows that he can prevail over forces inimical to good relations with India," he said.

But at the same time he said he can't help feel sorry for others taking oath or attending the ceremony "because the only photo op that will matter now will be the Modi-Sharif handshake."


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