A Diplomatic Masterstroke! Modi invites Pak PM Nawaz Sharif

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The dust and heat of electoral battle has settled down, and Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi is all set to take oath on Monday.

The world will be glued to the swearing-in ceremony in which Narendra Modi has invited Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, along with leaders from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Bangladesh.

The invitation to Pakistan PM has garnered the attention of the world media. Known for his hard posturing, Modi’s invitation to Sharif has left many puzzled.

It’s a diplomatic coup! Indiahas long had difficult ties with its neighbours, most notably Pakistan. And inviting Sharif is a big tactical move on the part of Narendra Modi.

The federalisation of Indian foreign policy, thanks to the emergence of strong state governments, has been a matter of concern in the region. The coalition compulsion of the erstwhile UPA 2 regime ensured that relationship with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh hit rock bottom.

In reaching out to members of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at the very start of his administration, Modi may also be seeking to address concerns over China making inroads in the region.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s invitation is also significant. There were tensions over India’s lack of support for the island nation in the United Nations on the issue of human rights violations during the civil war. It is vital that India build on traditional ties with Sri Lanka.

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.