Pakistan downplays India’s decision not to invite Imran Khan for PM Modi’s inauguration

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Pakistan has attempted to downplay the decision that India made to not invite Imran Khan for swearing-in of Narendra Modi on Thursday, stating the Prime Minister of India’s “internal politics” doesn’t allow him to offer an invitation to his counterpart from Pakistan.

On Monday, the government made an announcement in New Delhi that leaders from BIMSTEC countries have been invited to inauguration of Prime Minister Modi, excluding Pakistan that is not a regional grouping member.

The BIMSTEC consists of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan.

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Responding to reports of India not inviting Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan to inauguration of Prime Minister Modi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that a major measure would have been a meeting for the purpose of a dialogue for finding a way out to the issue in Kashmir, and also disputes of Sir Creek and Siachen rather than attending the ceremony of swearing-in.

According to Dawn news, Quereshi quoted that the entire focus of Prime Minister Modi through the election campaign was on criticizing Pakistan. It was foolish in expecting that he can quickly rid himself of this narrative.

He stated that internal politics of India did not allow him to offer an invitation.

In 2014, Nawaz Sharif who was Pakistan Prime Minister at that time was present in swearing-in of Prime Minister Modi held in New Delhi on May 26 when the SAARC countries leaders were invited.

Quereshi spoke to Geo News on Monday and stated that Modi had commended Khan subsequent to winning the general election previous year and a letter was written as well.

Prime Minister Khan on Sunday, paved the way in bilateral ties, talked to Modi, his counterpart in India and expressed his yearning to work jointly for the improvement of their people.

The foreign minister of Pakistan said that relations amidst the countries were on the basis of reciprocity and Prime Minister Khan had commended Mr Modi as a gesture of goodwill.

Quereshi said that locating a fresh way (to continue dialogue) is also needed for India if Modi would like this region to develop. The solitary way is sitting with Pakistan for finding a solution.

He also said that Pakistan benefits from defusing tensions, Pakistan didn’t create tension.

On Thursday, Bharatiya Janata Party won a significant victory led by Prime Minister Modi, for a subsequent term of five years in office, securing 303 seats in the Lok Sabha having 543 members.

Tensions intensfied amidst India and Pakistan following a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF staff in Pulwama district of Kashmir on February 14.

Amid increasing outrage, on February 26 an operation was carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for countering terror, hitting the largest training camp of JeM in Balakot, deep within Pakistan. The subsequent day, there was retaliation from Pakistan Air Force who in a combat aerially downed a MiG-21 and took into custody an IAF pilot, who was later handed over to India.

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