Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif wishes Narendra Modi on taking oath as prime minister

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Narendra Modi Shehbaz Sharif

Narendra Modi (L); Shehbaz Sharif (R)

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday wished Narendra Modi for taking oath as the prime minister for the third consecutive term.

Modi was sworn in as prime minister on Sunday for a record-equalling third term, heading a 72-member Union Council of Ministers in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Sharif, the only prime minister from India's neighbourhood who wasn't invited to the swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi, took to X to wish his counterpart on his return from China, Pakistan's all-weather ally.

"Felicitations to @narendramodi on taking oath as the Prime Minister of India," he said in a post.

Top leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region, including Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday graced the historic swearing-in ceremony.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay and Vice-President of Seychelles Ahmed Afif also attended the glittering ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

India's relationship with Pakistan suffered a setback in 2019 when Islamabad downgraded its ties with New Delhi after the Indian Parliament suspended Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

India has been maintaining that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan while insisting that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment that is free of terror and hostility for such an engagement.