New Delhi: Indian prime minister-designate Narendra Modi invited the leaders of Pakistan and other SAARC neighbors to his inauguration next week in an unprecedented move, signaling his aspirations to be a regional leader. India, the regional heavyweight, has long had difficult ties with its neighbors, most notably Pakistan, but also smaller nations, such as Nepal and Bangladesh, over trade, immigration and river sharing issues.
Sources said the invitations are intended to make a political point as Modi’s rivals have sought to paint him as a divisive leader who’s ascendance would mean a heightening of tensions at home and in the neighbourhood.
The initiative marks as switch in tenor from Modi’s campaign tactics when he attacked the Manmohan Singh vigorously for failing to respond to Pakistani provocations like beheading of Indian jawans on the Indian side of the LoC. Reuters