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Pak PM to attend Modi's swearing-in, hold bilateral talks

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 24, 2014 17:37 IST
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Three days after he was invited, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday announced that he will travel to New Delhi on May 26 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, following which he will hold bilateral talks.

Sharif, who will reach New Delhi on Monday, would be accompanied by his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry among others.

The announcement by the Pakistan prime minister's office ended the suspense over Sharif's visit that was being opposed by the hardliners in the establishment in Islamabad.

The development came after prime minister's brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met the Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Friday for about half-an-hour and conveyed to him the importance of the visit to India for maintaining good relations between the two countries and peace in the region, Pakistan Muslim League-N party sources told PTI.

"According to the programme received from India, the prime minister will have a bilateral meeting with Modi on the morning of May 27. The prime minister would also call on the President of India. The prime minister would return to Pakistan in the afternoon of May 27, 2014," a foreign office statement said.

The delay in Sharif confirming his attendance at the swearing-in ceremony was attributed to opposition from hardliners in the army establishment.

Modi has invited all the leaders of member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to the ceremony.

Sharif had telephoned Modi to congratulate him on his party's election victory and invited him to visit Pakistan after assuming office.

Image: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif is expected to be accompanied to Delhi with a delgation of four to six members. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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