Indian PM Modi to be invited to attend Saarc summit: Foreign Office

Updated November 27, 2018

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Dr Mohammad Faisal addressed the Kashmir Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID/File photo
Dr Mohammad Faisal addressed the Kashmir Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID/File photo

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit, Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said on Tuesday.

Ties with Saarc member states have been tenuous since the 19th summit ─ which was to be held in Pakistan in 2016 ─ was cancelled after India boycotted the event, causing Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan to also pull out.

While addressing the Kashmir Conference in Islamabad, Dr Faisal recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first address had said that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two.

He added that the premier, in his response to Modi's letter, had expressed Pakistan's openness to resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue with India.

"We fought a war with India, relations cannot be fixed quickly," Dr Faisal said.

The FO spokesman said that the Kartarpur Corridor, which will facilitate the visa-free travel of members of India's Sikh community to their religious site in Pakistan, will be inaugurated tomorrow and is expected to be completed within six months.

"In this century diplomacy has completely changed," he said, adding: "Now policies are made based on citizens' emotions and wishes."

He said that the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor is a great success for the country.

He added that Indian media had been invited to cover the inauguration ceremony, and that Pakistan is not hiding anything.