Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi today came in for praise from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other leaders from the State for inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing in ceremony on May 26.
“Excellent move by @narendramodi to invite SAARC leaders, especially Pak PM for his swearing in. Hope this is beginning of sustained talks,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging website twitter.com.
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, too, hailed the move, saying it was a “good omen”, while leader of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, expressed hope that it would pave the way for meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Omar, whose party National Conference and its ally Congress failed to win any seats in the State in the just- concluded Lok Sabha elections, however, wondered how BJP would have reacted to a similar move by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had it been him who was the Prime Minister-designate.
“At the same time I can’t help wonder what BJP would have said if a PM designate Rahul Gandhi had done the same thing,” Omar said.
Mehbooba said Modi would perhaps be the first Prime Minister ever to invite a Pakistani premier to his swearing-in ceremony.
“It’s a good omen to invite Pakistan Prime Minister for Modi’s swearing—in. It’s a pleasant surprise and quite unbelievable,” said Mehbooba, who was elected to Lok Sabha from the Anantnag seat.