For the oath-taking ceremony of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has invited about 3,000 dignitaries, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and heads of various countries, according to media reports.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will administer the oath of office to Modi at 6pm on Monday in Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi. Modi's BJP won 282 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the lower House of India, and emerged the single largest political party in the election.
BJP has invited heads of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to attend Modi's swearing-in as India's 14th Prime Minister.
The decision in this regard was taken by the BJP leaders on 20 May. As per the new leadership's instruction, the Union Ministry of External Affairs will invite the dignitaries, including those from abroad.
Soon after BJP won the elections in India and Modi emerged as the Prime Minister-designate, Pakistan PM Sharif called up Modi and invited him to visit the country. Kashmir has remained a disputed territory between the two countries in the last few decades.
Recently, Pakistan High Commissioner Abul Basit had stated that bilateral talks between India and Pakistan should continue to resolve outstanding issues.
Basit had also stressed that he has been encouraged by Modi's remarks, regarding India's ties with foreign countries. He also added that Modi's views on Pakistan were very positive and this gives hope to Pakistan that positive things can be expected from the next government in India.
Many Indian leaders' birth place is in Pakistan. For instance, outgoing PM Manmohan Singh, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani were born in Pakistan and their families migrated to India post-partition. Likewise, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraff was born in Delhi.