Modi invites Nawaz Sharif, SAARC Heads for swearing-in ceremony

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been invited to attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26, reports said on Wednesday, May 21. According to reports, the Pakistan Prime Minister will be among 3,000 dignitaries who have been invited to attend the function. Besides Pakistan Prime Minister, the heads of governments of the SAARC member countries have also been invited to attend the function.

There is no recent precedent for inviting foreign heads of state when an Indian prime minister has been sworn in. SAARC nations include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and the invitation would send out a strong signal of a neighborfriendly new government. Praising the move, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah poster on Twitter, “Excellent move by @narendramodi to invite SAARC leaders, especially Pak PM for his swearing in.

Hope this is beginning of sustained talks (sic).” Minutes later he tweeted again saying, “At the same time I can’t help wonder what BJP would have said if a PM designate Rahul Gandhi had done the same thing.” Modi will be administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee on May 26 at 6 pm. Following in the footsteps of a former Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Modi has preferred to be sworn in in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan where a larger number can be accommodated.

Meanwhile, keeping in view the intelligence reports about terrorist strikes, unprecedented security arrangements are being made. Security will be “tighter than the annual Republic Day parade,” officials have confirmed. Sources say the Air Force and the Army will be “discreetly involved” but most of the arrangements are being overseen by the Delhi Police, along with paramilitary forces.

Anti-aircraft guns of the air force are being positioned in strategic areas to take care of any flying threat. Modi is one of the most protected politicians in the country. His swearing-in ceremony has become a worse security nightmare after invites to world leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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