To set a new precedent in India-Pakistan relations, Islamabad has extended a hand of friendship towards New Delhi. Islamabad conveyed to New Delhi on Monday that Pakistan will release 30 Indian fishermen on the eve of Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony. Imran Khan will take oath as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 14.
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India-Pakistan relations have been hostile in recent times specifically over the Kashmir issue. The relations further took a back seat after the attack on the Pathankot Airbase for which India held Pakistan responsible. Now as Imran Khan rises to power in Pakistan, the future course of India-Pakistan relations remains to be seen. Imran Khan so far has expressed a friendly intent towards holding relations with New Delhi.
On 13th August, Pakistan will release 30 Indian prisoners most of which are fishermen through the Wagah border in Punjab. The oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan was earlier scheduled for August 11 but it was deferred to 14th August which marks the Independence Day of Pakistan.
Imran Khan’s PTI emerged as the single largest party in general elections held in Pakistan on July 25. Pakistan-Tehreeke-Insaf won 116 seats to emerge as the largest political force after Nawaz Sharif was jailed over charges of corruption. For Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony invites had been sent to his cricketer friends from India. These include Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu who played cricket for India in the same era as Imran Khan. Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has also been sent an invitation to be a part of the August gathering.
How India-Pakistan relations shape up from here remains to be seen but experts feel that the Imran Khan government must be given a chance. Earlier there were speculations that the Indian PM too might be invited for Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony but later no foreign leaders were invited for the same.