Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Narendra Modi on phone over his "impressive victory" in the elections and invited him to visit the country.
As the Prime Minister- designate Narendra Modi will take oath on May 26, all the leaders of South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations have been invited for the swearing- in ceremony.
But the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, who returned to power in Pakistan in 2013, has not yet confirmed his visit to India, even after 24 hours of the invitation.
Either Sharif is in the catch- 22 situation whether to visit India or send a representative like Pak Indian-born President Mamnoon Hussain or High Commissioner.
However, sources said that Sharif "wants to normalise ties with India to promote commercial and business activities".
"If he skipped the invitation it will send a very negative message to India and the world but the acceptance may bring backlash from the hardliners and hawks who consider Modi as anti-Pakistani," said a diplomat.
Today, Pakistani journalist Nasim Zehra tweeted that Sharif will attend Modi's oath taking ceremony:
Will Nawaz-Modi meeting in Delhi result in an anouncement to resume stalled Pak-India dialogue?
Will Nawaz-Modi meeting in Delhi result in an anouncement to resume stalled Pak-India dialogue?— Nasim Zehra (@NasimZehra) May 22, 2014
PM likely to attend Modi's oath-taking.
PM likely to attend Modi's oath-taking.— Nasim Zehra (@NasimZehra) May 22, 2014
The final decision will be confirmed on Friday evening after Sharif's meetings with civil and military leaders and the curtain will be raised over the suspense.
In case, if Sharif attends Modi's searing-in ceremony, then the bilateral dialogue between Pakistan and India is expected to take place on May 27.
Interestingly, Sharif will be the first Pakistani prime minister to attend the swearing- in ceremony of an Indian prime minister.
Modi has kicked the ball in Sharif's court, even before he has taken the oath as the prime minister.
But there is another powerful 'Sharif' in Pakistan- the country's Army Chief Genreral Raheel, Sharif, who may not back Nawaz Sharif's proposed trip to India.
It must be noted that Sharif's past track record in maintaining relations with India is not too good. The Kargil war happened during Sharif's rule as Pak PM.
Pakistan's ambivalence on the invitation to Sharif is seen by observers in New Delhi as a manifestation of the tussle between the elected government and the all-powerful Army establishment in Islamabad.
According to a report, other options such as sending Punjab Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif or Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to India are also being considered if Sharif opts out of the visit.