No foreign leader will be invited to Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony: Pak FO
Islamabad, Aug 2 : Pakistan said today that no foreign leader will be invited to the oath taking ceremony of Imran Khan as the prime minister in-waiting wants to keep the event very simple and dignified.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the elections held on July 25. The 65-year-old leader is expected to take oath on August 11.
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said a simple ceremony will be held at the President House for which no date has been fixed.
“No dignitary from abroad except a few close friends of Chairman PTI Imran Khan would attend the simple and dignified oath-taking at Aiwan-e-Sadar (President House),” said Faisal.
President Mamnoon Hussain will administer Khan the oath of the office.
Khan’s party had initially planned to invite several foreign leaders and personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, in an apparent change of heart today, Khan has opted against a fancy ceremony.
Faisal said that the PTI also announced that no foreign leaders would attend the oath-taking ceremony.
In a tweet, the PTI announced that the oath taking will be a simple and dignified ceremony and “it has been decided not to invite foreign dignitaries”.
Earlier, PTI leaders had said that the Foreign Office was consulted to invite foreign leaders which may include leaders from SARRC nations as well as from China and Turkey.
PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said that FO was approached to seek advice on the issue of inviting foreign leaders.
According to reports, initial arguments from the FO suggested that it believes Pakistan would face a bigger embarrassment if the Indian Prime Minister declined the invitation.
“There will be no show of extravagance at the event,” Chaudhry said.
“A few of Imran’s friends are the only foreign nationals being invited to the event,” he said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Modi telephoned Khan to congratulate him on his party’s victory in the general elections and hoped that “Pakistan and India will work to open a new chapter in bilateral ties”.
Khan thanked Modi for his wishes and emphasised that disputes should be resolved through dialogue.
The India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.