NEW DELHI - The BJP on Saturday expressed "delight" at the decision of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister while Congress asked the new government to raise issues such as cross-border terrorism, slow pace of trial of 26/11 attackers and handing over of Dawood Ibrahim with the visiting premier, reported PTI.
"This is a delightful piece of news that Pakistan Prime Minister has accepted Narendra Modi's invitation ... this is the beginning of a new relationship. It is good news," BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said in New Delhi. He said Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar are India's neighbours. "And neighbours cannot be changed," he said.
But Congress reacted cautiously to the development. Outgoing Congress minister Manish Tewari reminded that BJP has all along maintained that terror and talks cannot go together. He hoped that after assuming office, the BJP government would raise the issue of slow pace of trial of 26/11 attacks — an issue "which had been troubling them."
He also said the issue of people like Hafiz Saeed should also be raised. "They have also periodically been raising the issue of the return of Dawood Ibrahim. So, we hope that BJP remains true to the position it has taken over the past ten years and raises these issues with the Prime Minister of Pakistan when he comes to India," Tewari said.
Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said photo opportunities are okay but in the euphoria of coronation, Modi should not compromise national interest.