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Indian, Pakistani cricket stars invited to PM’s inauguration

Updated August 11, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria presents a cricket bat which carries signatures of Indian players to PTI chairman Imran Khan after a meeting at Mr Khan’s Banigala residence on Friday.—White Star
ISLAMABAD: Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria presents a cricket bat which carries signatures of Indian players to PTI chairman Imran Khan after a meeting at Mr Khan’s Banigala residence on Friday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has invited Indian and Pakistani cricket stars of his time to a ceremony to be held on Aug 18 in President House where he will take the oath as prime minister of the country.

President Mamnoon Hussain will administer the oath.

According to PTI Senator Faisal Javed, India’s former cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu have been invited.

Imran Khan — former skipper of the national cricket team who won the world cup for Pakistan in 1992 — has also remembered his colleagues and invited Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Rameez Raja, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Moin Khan and Aaqib Javed who had played the world cup final at Melbourne, Australia.

Imran calls for restarting Pak-India dialogue on all outstanding issues including Kashmir

After having secured a simple majority in the July 25 general elections, the PTI is in a comfortable position to form its government at the Centre with its allies.

Media reports suggest that some Bollywood actors have also been invited to the ceremony, but there was no confirmation by the party about this.

Indian envoy meets Imran

Meanwhile, Imran Khan urged India to resolve contentious issues, including Kashmir, with Pakistan through dialogue.

The PTI chief expressed these views during a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria who called on the former at his Banigala residence on Friday.

The India envoy felicitated Mr Khan on his party’s victory in the general elections.

Senior PTI leaders, including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, Dr Shireen Mazari, Dr Shehzad Waseem and Naeemul Haq were also present in the meeting.

According to the PTI media cell, Mr Khan stressed the need for restarting the dialogue between Pakistan and India on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir. He expressed concern over the human rights violations in India-held Kashmir. He expressed the hope that the next Saarc summit would soon be held in Islamabad.

The Indian high commissioner said that with the Indian premier’s phone call to prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan, there was a new optimism in India that relations would move forward positively.

Mr Khan welcomed the positive message conveyed by the Indian high commissioner on behalf of his government and reiterated his hope for both countries to move forward for the betterment of the people of the subcontinent.

The Indian envoy presented a cricket bat signed by the Indian cricket team to Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, Mr Khan urged the nation to celebrate the coming Independence Day on Aug 14 with full zeal and national fervour. “I want all Pakistanis to celebrate Aug 14, our Independence Day with full fervour-especially as we are now moving towards Naya (new) Pakistan and reclaiming Jinnah’s vision Inshallah,” he said in a tweet.

Mr Khan also chaired a meeting of the PTI’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa leaders, but it could not reach a consensus on any name for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker of the provincial assembly.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2018