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Congress criticises BJP for inviting Sharif to Modi’s swearing-in

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: Congress on Thursday attacked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over sending an invitation to Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif for the swearing-in ceremony of prime minister designate Narendra Modi, reminding the party of its earlier remarks that terror and talks cannot go hand in hand.

“Throughout the election campaign, you saw a lot of anti- Pakistan rhetoric which was articulated by the BJP in a language which was extremly vociferous to say the least. And now you have this invitation to Prime Minister of Pakistan. “So, therefore, it is for BJP to introspect as to whether terror and invitations can go hand in hand,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told reporters in New Delhi.

Noting that while it was the prerogative of the elected government to invite whosoever they want for their swering-in ceremony, Tewari said the BJP should not forget that Manmohan Singh had come under attack from them for carrying forward the process of normalising relations with the neighbour initiated by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He said that Singh had come under lot of criticism from BJP during the talks with Pakistan in Havana, in New York and in Sharm el-Sheikh that “terror and talks cannot go hand in hand”.

The Congress leader’s remark came against the backdrop of SAARC Heads of State and Government including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif been invited to Modi’s swearing-in as prime minister on 26 May.

Pakistan’s foreign office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said said that formal invitation has been received but any decision by the prime minister to attend the ceremony on 26 May in New Delhi will be taken later Thursday.

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