Pakistan to invite PM Modi to attend SAARC summit
Pakistan has announced that it will invite PM Narendra Modi to the country for attending the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, reported the country's Dawn News. In 2016, amid spiked bilateral tensions following the Uri terror attack, India had boycotted the 2016 SAARC summit, which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad, effectively leading to its cancelation. Here's more.
Dawn News reported that PM Modi will be invited to the country, quoting Pakistan's Foreign Office Spokesman, Dr. Mohammad Faisal. He made the announcement while addressing the Kashmir Conference held in Islamabad. Dr. Faisal also recalled that Pakistani PM Imran Khan, in his very first address, vowed to improve the ties with India, saying if India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two.
"We fought a war with India, relations cannot be fixed quickly," Dr. Faisal was quoted as saying. "In this century, diplomacy has completely changed," he said, adding, "Now policies are made based on citizens' emotions and wishes."
The biennial SAARC summits are hosted by member states in an alphabetical order. PM Modi had attended the last SAARC summit, which was hosted by Nepal, in 2014. After India boycotted the 2016 summit in Pakistan, other SAARC members like Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Afghanistan had also pulled out of the summit. Sri Lanka and the Maldives are also part of the eight-member regional grouping.
Meanwhile, Dr. Faisal also talked about Kartarpur Corridor at the conference. He said, "The Kartarpur Corridor, which will facilitate...visa-free travel of members of India's Sikh community to their religious site in Pakistan, will be inaugurated tomorrow and is expected to be completed within six months."