Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi on Monday to attend the oath-taking ceremony of India's prime minister-elect Narendra Modi.
Modi will be sworn as India's prime minister at a glittering ceremony that will be as much a show of his determination to be a key player on the global stage as a celebration of his stunning election victory.
India's invitation to Sharif for Modi's inauguration and bilateral talks extended a couple of days ago had come as a surprise, raising hopes for a thaw in relations between the two countries that have been particularly frosty since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
In a goodwill gesture, Sharif, who had accepted the invitation, ordered the release of 151 Indian prisoners on Sunday.
The Pakistani leader’s attendance will be a first in the history of the two neighbours which remain divided over the disputed region of Kashmir and other issues.
Talking to media men at the Lahore Airport before leaving for New Delhi, PM Nawaz said that he is visiting India with a message of peace as dialogue is the only solution to our problems.
He said that positive relationship with all the neighbouring countries including India is his prime preference.
Sharif stated that he is taking the message of love and peace with him to India and he looks forward to a new beginning for the people on both sides.
He added that the only solution to the prevailing crisis in the region is through negotiations.
The officials who are accompanying the prime minister include Advisor to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Political Secretary Asif Kirmani and the premier's son Hussain Nawaz.
Hussain Nawaz, the son of PM Nawaz Sharif, is also joining him during the two-day visit.
The Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting on Tuesday with Narendra Modi who has invited leaders of Pakistan and South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to attend the ceremony.
Officials said the PM will also call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee who will host a private dinner for Modi and Saarc leaders including Pakistani PM.
The PM he would return to Pakistan in the afternoon of May 27.