Friday, August 7, 2020
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Snubbed Twice Over

No invite to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for the swearing-in of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been widely reported as a snub. What has largely gone unnoticed, and is seen as a snub by the Pakistani establishment, is a press release by India’s external affairs ministry, which said Khan had called up Modi to congratulate him on his poll victory. For, the press release issued on May 26 clubbed congratulatory calls received from a serving PM, Imran Khan, with the former President of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed and the former PM of Nepal, Madhav Nepal. This hasn’t gone down well with the Pakistani establishment that has cited protocol and the bunching of a serving PM with a former PM and President. But New Delhi’s move is not surprising, given the fraught bilateral ties with Pakistan and the constant battle of one-upmanship the two sides are engaged in.