Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Sidhu, Aamir invited to Imran Khan's oath-taking
The oath-taking ceremony guest list of to-be Pakistan PM Imran Khan features several Indian names, including his contemporaries Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Singh Sidhu. Aamir Khan, who starred in the cricket-based hit 'Lagaan,' has also received an invitation, TOI reports. Sources said the PTI chief selected them because of the good rapport they share. A decision on inviting Indian PM Narendra Modi is still pending.
PTI in talks with foreign office regarding Modi's invitation
The PTI wants to invite the heads of the SAARC nations too, including Modi, and has approached the foreign office to discuss possibilities. Modi had called up Khan after his victory to congratulate him. In a statement, the MEA had said Modi and Khan discussed regional peace and development. A PTI official later termed the call a "welcome sign to begin a new chapter."
Here's how the trend of inviting SAARC leaders started
It was Modi who started the trend of inviting SAARC leaders to such ceremonies, when he took oath in 2014. Back then, former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif had flown down to Delhi to attend the event. However, bilateral relations have nose-dived since then.
'Ready to better things with you, India,' Khan had said
India figured prominently in Khan's victory speech after the results. "If India moves one step forward, we'll move two," he had said. "But India must make that effort." "We're ready to better things with you, India," he had said, adding, "Unfortunately, our biggest problem is Kashmir." He also said he's the one "who has maximum contact with India, thanks to cricket."
Khan Sahab is man of character, can be trusted: Sidhu
ANI reports Sidhu has accepted Khan's invitation. "It is a great honor. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character. He can be trusted," he said.
PTI needs allies' support to form the government
Khan, whose PTI won 116 seats in the recent elections, will take oath on August 11, days before Pakistan's Independence Day. However, since it's 22 short of a majority, it needs allies. Party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said it has acquired the necessary number of seats- 168 at the Centre and 188 in Punjab- to form the government. The support came from PML-Q and Independents.