India Abroad

Imran Khan Swearing-In: Aamir Khan, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev & Navjot Singh Sidhu Invited

| August 2 , 2018 , 12:46 IST

Rumours had been abound of who would be invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of Pakistan since the date of his swearing-in was confirmed as August 11.

PTI on Wednesday confirmed that from India, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu have been invited to attend cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad on August 11.

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Navjot Singh Sidhu, another cricketer-turned-politician currently a Punjab cabinet minister, confirmed his attendance to the oath-taking ceremony.   

“It is (a) great honour, I accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared, but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character. He can be trusted. Sportsmen build bridges, break barriers, unite people,” Sidhu said in a statement.

According to local media reports, PTI leaders were interested in inviting the heads of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as leaders of China and Turkey for the swearing-in ceremony.

Due to the short time span before the swearing-in date, Pakistan's Foreign Office and senior PTI leaders were concerned about the feasibility of the foreign leaders attending the event, Dawn News reported.

ALSO READ: PTI Chief Imran Khan To Take Oath As Pakistan Prime Minister On August 11

The news channel further quoted sources as saying that it would be an embarrassment for Pakistan if the Indian Prime Minister declined an invitation for the event.

In 2014, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif had come to New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM Modi had stopped by Lahore in Pakistan to greet PM Sharif on his birthday.

However, relations between India and Pakistan have become considerably more tense, especially since the terror attacks by Pakistan-based terror groups, the Uri attack, and India's surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Despite the tense relations, PM Modi called Imran Khan to congratulate him after his party the PTI emerged as the single largest party in Pakistan's recent General Elections.