Pakistan Prime Minister’s House spokesperson reportedly confirmed that Sharif would attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi next week.

Pakistan's Foreign Office had already recommended that Sharif should accept India's invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Several civil society organisations in Pakistan had also urged Sharif to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony which could mark a new thaw in the relations between the two neighbouring countries.

Sharif’s visit to India gives encouraging signals that Pakistan might be ready to begin a new chapter in improving bilateral ties between the two arch-rivals.

Other key SAARC leaders, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom have already confirmed that they will attend the ceremony in New Delhi.

Bangladesh will be represented by Speaker Shirin Chaudhury as Premier Sheikh Hasina is travelling to Japan.

Around 3000 dignitaries across the world were invited to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, which would take place in the sprawling forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The BJP’s decision to invite SAARC leaders at Modi’s swearing-in ceremony has already given positive indications about India's future foreign policy with several rival parties also lauding the NDA for the forthcoming gesture.

(JPN)

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