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Sidhu to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in; No word from Pak on invitation to Modi yet

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    New Delhi, Aug 1: Congress leader and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has accepted the invitation to attend the swearing-in of Imran Khan as Pakistan's new Prime Minister on August 11. Former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan have also been invited by Pakistan's Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan for his oath-taking ceremony.

    Congress leader and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu

    It is, however, not yet clear if Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be invited. As per reports, Khan's party - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) - has asked the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) to clarify if foreign heads of state, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, could be invited for August 11 event.

    "It's a great honour and accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character. He can be trusted," ANI quoted Navjot Singh Sidhu as saying today.

    There were media reports suggesting that PTI was considering to invite leaders from the SAARC countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to attend Imran's oath-taking ceremony scheduled to be held on August 11.

    Despite emerging as the largest party, Khan's PTI is still short of numbers to form the government on its own. 

    The PTI has obtained 115 general seats - 12 short of a simple majority - while the PML-N and PPP have won 64 and 43 seats, respectively.

    Pakistan's NA - the lower house of Parliament - comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected. A party can only form the government if it manages to secure 172 seats in total.

    Meanwhile, political activities are at full swing and parties are holding open meetings and secret parleys to arrange the political chessboard. Pakistan's two major parties -- the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) - are expected to meet in a couple of days to devise a joint strategy in a bid to give a tough time to the PTI in parliament, the Dawn reported.

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