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Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif Will Attend Narendra Modi’s Swearing-In
Written by Alka On 25 May 2014 @ 19:30 pm | 6 Comments
In Breaking News, Citizen Media, English, Governance, History, India, International Relations, Pakistan, Politics, South Asia, Weblog
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  has accepted Narendra Modi ‘s invitation to his swearing-in ceremony as the prime minster of India, the first such instance between the two nuclear-armed neighbors who have fought three wars since their independence from the British Empire in 1947.
Modi had extended an invitation to the heads of state of all member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation  (SAARC), deemed as a strategic move . Besides Sharif, the prime ministers of Nepal and Bhutan and the presidents of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maldives will attend the event. Bangladesh will be represented by the speaker of parliament.
Sharif was the last to confirm his attendance, possibly after consultations  with the Pakistani army as some have speculated, given the army's historically hardliner stance against India. Political analyst and retired Pakistani general Talat Masood explained  the armed forces’ possible influence to Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune: “I think the army is backing otherwise he would not go. He does not go against the advice of the army.”
Sharif's decision has evoked mixed reactions in Pakistan  and India . Omar Abdullah, the chief minister of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that borders Pakistan, responded positively to the announcement. He tweeted :
Very glad to hear Pak PM has accepted invite, shows that he can prevail over forces inimical to good relations with India. 1/2
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) May 24, 2014 
He followed this  up with:
I hope that this will mark a new beginning in ties between our two countries. The people of J&K will be watching closely. 2/2
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) May 24, 2014 
Indian columnist and novelist Shobhaa De tweeted:
Nawaz Sharif has taken a gutsy and shareef decision to attend Modi's swearing in ceremony tomorrow. Respect !
— Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) May 25, 2014 
Across the border, Tariq Vaid, gulf information and PR secretary for Sharif’s party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), supported Sharif’s move. He tweeted :
— Tariq Vaid طارق وید (@Tariq_Vaid) May 24, 2014 
This is great news, Both modi and sharif are intelligent men who only want good for their people. I hope both of them can get started on resolving some issues like border-clashes. The only challenge is the pak-army, I can only hope that they don't try destroy the talks again like the last time with Vajpeyi [sic].
I saw some people accusing Modi of making this ceremony an extravagant affair and waste of money by inviting these leaders, but on the contrary this only proves to show that Modi doesn't want to waste time ( which is more precious than money ) and he want to get on work right as he take the oath by discussing diplomacy with leaders.
However, a few other users urged caution. User bikaumod commented :
Bhai logs, don't get me wrong, last time jab Vajpayi [sic] ji ne Sharif se hello hello kee thi to Porkistan [sic] Army Kargil pe chadhi baithi thi…
Brothers, don't get me wrong, last time when Vajpayee said “hello hello” to Sharif, the Pakistan Army had climbed and was sitting atop Kargil.
The comment was a reference to the India-Pakistan Kargil conflict  in 1999, which derailed the ongoing dialogue between then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif. Incidentally, Vajpayee was also from the same party as Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Political commentators on both sides of the border hope this event will lead to normalization of relations between the two historically opposed countries. Sharif, who is in favor of normalized ties and greater trade, is at loggerheads with the Pakistani army , which plays a big role in shaping foreign policy.
Modi is viewed with some trepidation  by Pakistan because of the riots in the Indian state of Gujarat  in 2002 when close to 1,000 Muslims were killed. Modi was the chief minister of the state at the time. Though cleared of any suspicion by the Supreme Court of India, his critics still claim negligence on his part in stopping the violence.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  won a simple majority  in the recently concluded Indian parliamentary elections. The party won 282 seats , while the BJP-led political alliance, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA ) won 336 seats. The incumbent Indian National Congress by contrast could muster only 44 seats, and its political alliance the United Progressive Alliance (UPA ) managed 59 seats. This is the first clear mandate for a single party in over three decades, and is expected by some to result in clearer and more decisive governance.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/05/25/pakistans-nawaz-sharif-will-attend-narendra-modis-swearing-in/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.demotix.com/photo/4793615/narendra-modi-president-house-india
 Nawaz Sharif: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nawaz_Sharif
 Narendra Modi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narendra_Modi
 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asian_Association_for_Regional_Cooperation
 as a strategic move: http://www.niticentral.com/2014/05/23/why-invitation-to-saarc-countries-is-modis-master-stroke-226470.html
 possibly after consultations: http://www.hindustantimes.com/elections2014/the-big-story/nawaz-sharif-to-attend-modi-s-swearing-in/article1-1221686.aspx
 Talat Masood explained: http://tribune.com.pk/story/712490/nawaz-accepts-modis-invitation-to-attend-oath-ceremony/
 in Pakistan: http://www.ibtimes.co.in/tv/nawaz-sharifs-decision-to-attend-modis-swearing-evokes-mixed-reaction-in-pakistan-14103
 India: http://www.ft.lk/2014/05/23/modis-invite-to-mahinda-nawaz-displeases-indian-politicos/
 tweeted: https://twitter.com/abdullah_omar/status/470091615462121472
 May 24, 2014: https://twitter.com/abdullah_omar/statuses/470091615462121472
 followed this: https://twitter.com/abdullah_omar/status/470091934162120704
 May 24, 2014: https://twitter.com/abdullah_omar/statuses/470091934162120704
 May 25, 2014: https://twitter.com/DeShobhaa/statuses/470440786291466241
 Image: http://www.demotix.com/photo/4297074/state-officials-arrive-hague-nuclear-security-summit
 tweeted: https://twitter.com/Tariq_Vaid/status/470195253647925248
 #Pakistan: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Pakistan&src=hash
 #India: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23India&src=hash
 #PMLN: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PMLN&src=hash
 May 24, 2014: https://twitter.com/Tariq_Vaid/statuses/470195253647925248
 India subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/india/
 commented: http://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/26czmu/nawaz_sharif_to_attend_modi_swearingin/chpvamk
 commented: http://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/26czmu/nawaz_sharif_to_attend_modi_swearingin/chpwlbx
 India-Pakistan Kargil conflict: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kargil_War
 loggerheads with the Pakistani army: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pakistan-pm-nawaz-sharif-to-attend-narendra-modis-swearing-in/articleshow/35547380.cms
 viewed with some trepidation: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/05/18/5-things-you-should-know-about-indias-new-prime-minister-narendra-modi/
 riots in the Indian state of Gujarat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Gujarat_riots
 (BJP): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjp
 won a simple majority: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/05/16/indians-choose-narendra-modi-and-bharatiya-janata-party-in-historic-landslide/
 The party won 282 seats: http://indianexpress.com/elections/
 NDA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Democratic_Alliance_%28India%29
 UPA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Progressive_Alliance
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