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Posted at: Aug 11, 2018, 2:32 AM; last updated: Aug 11, 2018, 10:28 AM (IST)

Indian envoy meets Imran Khan, gifts bat signed by Indian team

Indian envoy meets Imran Khan, gifts bat signed by Indian team
Indian envoy Ajay Bisaria gifts a bat to Imran Khan in Islamabad on Friday, Twitter

Smita Sharma 


New Delhi, August 10

Days after Prime Minister Modi dialled Imran Khan and congratulated him on his Pakistan election victory, the Indian High Commissioner called on the Prime Minister-elect on Friday.

Indian envoy Ajay Bisaria met with Imran, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf (PTI), at the latter’s Banigala residence in Islamabad. 

PTI official spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and senior leaders Naim-Ul-Haq, Shireen Mazari and Dr. Shahzad Waseem were among those present during the meeting that lasted half an hour.

Bisaria congratulated Khan on his electoral success and discussed range of issues and prospects of India-Pakistan relationship.  “Called on Imran Khan and his team for a positive, constructive conversation,” tweeted Bisaria. 

According to sources, the Indian High Commissioner raised concerns about terrorism and cross-border infiltration in the meeting. While according to PTI officials, Imran highlighted issue of alleged human rights violations in Kashmir and also hoped that the SAARC summit could be held in Islamabad soon. An India-led boycott in wake of the Uri terror attacks led to derailment of the SAARC process in 2016, which needs compulsory presence of all heads of states/governments of the eight South Asian member states. 

“Khan Sahab discussed the need to restart dialogue between Pakistan and Indian on all outstanding issues including Kashmir,” tweeted senior leader Mazari.

The envoy also gifted Khan, the former Pakistan captain who led his cricket team to its first-ever World Cup victory in 1992, a bat autographed by the entire Indian cricket team. This warm gesture though is symbolic at the moment given the two sides discontinued bilateral cricketing exchange following the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India last toured Pakistan in 2006 while the Pakistan cricket team last played on the Indian soil in 2007. 

The meeting came on a day when the party announced that Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony will now be held on August 18 and the leader will reside in one of the houses at the Ministers’ enclave in Islamabad instead of the Prime Minister’s sprawling residence after the swearing in.

PTI spokesperson Faisal Jawed informed the local media that an invitation is being extended to former cricketers Kapil Dev, Navjot Sidhu, as well as the entire Indian squad of 1992 when Pakistan lifted the trophy, for the oath-taking ceremony.


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