Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that PM Narendra Modi’s Pakistan bashing during his election campaign is the reason why he was unable to invite Pakistani premier Imran Khan to his swearing-in ceremony on May 30.
His entire focus during the election campaign was on Pakistan-bashing. It was unwise to expect that he can get rid of his narrative soon, Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi said.
It should be noted that Modi government has invited member states of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), for PM Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony. BIMSTEC includes Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. The leaders of Mauritius and Kyrgyzstan are also invited.
During 2014, India had invited member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives. The then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had attended the ceremony.
However, Nawaz Sharif had to face backlash in Pakistan for attending PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Rival political parties, including the current ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), criticised Sharif wil slogans like “Modi ka jo yaar hai, Gadaar hai, which means friend of Modi is a traitor.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that PM Imran Khan had telephoned Narendra Modi and congratulated him on his victory, a reciprocal gesture as PM Narendra Modi had done the same when Imran Khan won the elections. PM Narendra Modi had also reportedly sent a congratulatory letter to Imran Khan.
Qureshi said that there is a dire need to find new ways to resume dialogue with India.
If Modi wants development in this region, the only way is to sit with Pakistan to find a solution, Qureshi added.
Stating Pakistan policy on the India-Pakistan relations, Qureshi said it was in Pakistan’s interest to defuse tensions, insisting that Pakistan had no role in the Pulwama attack.
It is in the interest of Pakistan to defuse tensions. Pakistan did not create tensions. Now the entire world agrees that Pakistan had no role in the Pulwama incident, said Pakistan Foreign Minister.