New Delhi (Web Desk): India will not invite Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to the swearing-in ceremony Thursday of Narendra Modi, who starts his second term as India’s prime minister, sources said.
An Indian government statement on Monday said the leaders of Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Bhutan — all members of the little-known Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) alongside India — have been invited to Modi’s swearing-in.
The leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Mauritius have also been invited but two sources in Indian’s foreign ministry said Pakistan will not be on the list, without providing further information.
For the swearing-in ceremony for Modi’s first term in 2014, all nations from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) — which includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Maldives — were invited. In 2014, the then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the ceremony.
On Sunday, PM Khan telephoned his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and congratulated him on his party’s victory in the election of Lok Sabha.
On Friday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the general election.
According to the ECI data, the BJP crossed the half-way mark of 272, required to form the government.
ECI data showed that the party’s tally is most likely to rise further, as BJP candidates are leading in 31 more parliamentary constituencies and the counting of votes is still underway.
Earlier, main opposition party the Indian National Congress (INC) president Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat and congratulated Prime Minister Modi over his victory.