Pakistan downplays Imran snub by India, pushes for dialogue

Updated on May 28, 2019 11:05 PM IST

On Monday, Indian officials said there were no plans to invite Khan to PM Modi’s oath-taking ceremony. Hindustan Times reported that India was keen on leaders from BIMSTEC countries attending the event. This grouping excludes Pakistan.

The government’s decision to invite leaders of BIMSTEC nations for PM-elect Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 reflects India’s reluctance to engage with Pakistan. (PTI photo)
The government’s decision to invite leaders of BIMSTEC nations for PM-elect Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 reflects India’s reluctance to engage with Pakistan. (PTI photo)
Hindustan Times, India | ByImtiaz Ahmad

Pakistan has played down a decision by the Indian government to not invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying India’s “internal politics” did not permit the latter to extend an invitation, Dawn newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“His [Modi’s] entire focus [during the election campaign] was on Pakistan-bashing. It was unwise to expect that he can get rid of this narrative [soon],” foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a news channel.

On Monday, Indian officials said there were no plans to invite Khan to PM Modi’s oath-taking ceremony. Hindustan Times reported that India was keen on leaders from BIMSTEC countries attending the event. This grouping excludes Pakistan.

An Indian government statement said the leaders of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan — all members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Econo­mic Cooperation — had been invited to Modi’s swearing-in.

The government’s decision to invite leaders of BIMSTEC nations for PM-elect Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 reflects India’s reluctance to engage with Pakistan. The external affairs ministry had said on Monday the invitations were in line with India’s focus on ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

In 2014, Modi had invited SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) leaders, including then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony, in a move that was seen by analysts as an initiative by India to reach out to neighbouring countries.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack, in which 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed. India has maintained that talks with Pakistan cannot be restarted until Islamabad deals with terror outfits operating on its soil.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, December 05, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals