ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI, May 24 � Ending a three-day suspense, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today decided to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on Monday, a day after which the two leaders will hold a bilateral meeting, reports PTI.
Sharif, who was invited along with other six Heads of Governments and States of SAARC grouping on May 21, will arrive in the Indian capital shortly before Modi is sworn in at Rashtrapati Bhawan at 6 pm.
The Pakistan Prime Minister will be accompanied by a delegation comprising his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, among others.
The announcement by Sharif�s Office that he has accepted Modi�s invitation ended widespread speculation as to whether Pakistani Army establishment and other hardline elements would prove to be a hurdle in his responding to the invitation positively.
Pakistan Prime Minister�s brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met the Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif last night for about half-an-hour and conveyed to him the importance of the visit to India for maintaining good relations between the two countries and peace in the region, PML-N party sources told PTI.
�According to the programme received from India, the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi on the morning of May 27. The Prime Minister would also call on the President of India. The Prime Minister would return to Pakistan in the afternoon of May 27, 2014,� a Foreign Office statement said here.
Asked about the expectations from the Sharif-Modi meet, Pakistan Foreign Ministry sources said the two leaders are meeting for the first time and the effort will be to take forward the relationship.
Prime Minister Sharif had telephoned Modi to congratulate him on his party�s election victory and invited him to visit Pakistan after assuming office.
Modi has invited all the leaders of member states of the SAARC to the ceremony.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom have already confirmed that they will attend the ceremony.