Pakistan likely to invite Narendra Modi for SAARC Summit in Islamabad, says Foreign Office

Pakistan's Foreign Office made an announcement on Tuesday that Narendra Modi will be invited for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, due to be hosted in Islamabad, reported CNN-News18.

 Pakistan likely to invite Narendra Modi for SAARC Summit in Islamabad, says Foreign Office

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

The announcement came on the eve of the opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

However, the Government of India is yet to respond to the invite.

This comes after Pakistan invited Sushma Swaraj, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for the Kartapur corridor ceremony. Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri are also expected to attend Wednesday's ceremony.

Addressing a conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan in his victory speech had said that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to Pakistan for the SAARC Summit," Faisal was quoted as saying by Dawn.

He said that Khan, in a letter to his Indian counterpart, 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," Faisal said.

Pakistan had cancelled the 19th SAARC Summit which was to be held in Islamabad in November 2016.

After the 18 September terrorist attack in Uri, in Jammu and Kahsmir, India decided to boycott the summit — a decision from which Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took a cue.

The Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement, "Pakistan deplores India's decision to impede the SAARC process by not attending the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad on 9 to 10 November, 2016."

It had claimed that the "spirit of the SAARC Charter is violated when a member state casts the shadow of its bilateral problems on the multilateral forum for regional cooperation."

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 27, 2018 18:10:00 IST