The Hush Post: Even before there was any confirmation on the invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi, Pakistan Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan has already extended formal invitations to former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Navjot Singh Sidhu and also film star Aamir Khan.
Imran’s oath-taking ceremony is going to take place on 11 August.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in Pakistan’s National Assembly after the 25 July general elections but it is short of numbers to form the government on its own. The PTI is in talks with other political parties and independent candidates to join its ranks to form a coalition government.
A report in Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper quoting PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry as saying that the party has invited former Indian cricketers Gavaskar, Kapil and Sidhu. Chaudhury also added that Indian actor Amir Khan had also been invited for the swearing-in ceremony. However, Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batting maestro has been left out, though many believed that he was there in the first list but the name subsequently disappeared.
PTI had approached the Pakistan Foreign Office on this matter, the paper reported.
Chaudhury, however, did not confirm that invites had been sent to the leaders of South Asian countries, including PM Modi. A person familiar with the developments on the Indian side said an invitation for Modi had “not yet” arrived.
Chaudhry on Tuesday said in a Twitter post that the party would take a decision on inviting foreign dignitaries including South Asian leaders after consulting the Pakistan Foreign Office.
Earlier, PM Modi had called Khan to congratulate him on his party’s victory in the Pakistan elections on Monday and during the conversation hoped that “Pakistan and India will work to open a new chapter in bilateral ties.”