ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday accepted India's invitation to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the neighbouring country's prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, a spokesman for the Prime Minister House said.

The decision was made after a series of consultations that the premier held with his close aides.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz told Dawn that he had a series of meetings yesterday and day before with the premier in which the issue was discussed.

Moreover, Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said details of the visit were being worked out with the Indian authorities, including the composition of the prime minister’s delegation.

She said it was most likely that Aziz would accompany Prime Minister Sharif to New Delhi.

Sharif is among the leaders of member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) invited by Modi. It is the first time in Indian history that leaders from neighbouring countries have been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of a prime minister.

Analysts had asserted that a slightly delayed response was due to the fact that Pakistan would be keen to insert a meaningful agenda during the usually accommodated bilateral talks even if the occasion has a multi-lateral flavour.


FO announces schedule of PM's visit to India


The Foreign office has announced the schedule of the visit of the Prime Minister Sharif to India saying it would be a two day visit.

"In response to the invitation to the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister-designate of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, the prime minister would be travelling to New Delhi on May 26, 2014. Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Secretary to the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary would accompany him,” Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told dawn .com.

The spokesperson said according to the programme received from India, the prime minister will have a bilateral meeting with Modi on the morning of May 27.

She said the premier would also call on the President of India and after completion of his meetings, he would return to Pakistan in the afternoon of May 27, 2014.

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