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India to invite Pakistani PM to Narendra Modi's inauguration

Published on May 21, 2014 4:47 PM
India will invite Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (pictured) to Mr Narendra Modi's inauguration. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Indian prime minister-designate Narendra Modi on Wednesday invited the leaders of Pakistan and other neighbours to his inauguration next week in an unprecedented move, signalling his aspirations to be a regional leader.

India, the regional heavyweight, has long had difficult ties with its neighbours, most notably Pakistan, but also smaller nations, such as Nepal and Bangladesh, over trade, immigration and river sharing issues.

But in reaching out to members of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at the very start of his administration, Mr Modi may also be seeking to address concerns that long-time rival China is making inroads in the region.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on the guest list of leaders from the eight-member regional grouping invited to attend Mr Modi's swearing next Monday, government and members of his Bharatiya Janata Party said.

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