Modi to attend Imran Khan's oath ceremony? PTI mulls inviting SAARC leaders

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Former Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) has won victory in the country's general elections and is now in a strong position to form the central government, according to the complete preliminary results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan on Saturday. He congratulated Khan and "expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan", the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

The cricketer-turned-politician has announced that he would take oath as Pakistan Prime Minister on August 11. Meanwhile, Khan also took his party leaders in confidence about government formation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where the PTI has won a majority of seats and will easily form the government.

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif had travelled to New Delhi to attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony, and the Indian premier had in December 2015 made a stopover in Lahore to greet his counterpart on his birthday.

In an interview with CNBC television, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan's expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there was "no rationale" for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

The pivotal election has been branded "Pakistan's dirtiest", after widespread claims in the months leading up to the vote that the powerful military was trying to fix the playing field in Mr Khan's favour.

The sources said Khan had himself contacted Mumtaz Bhutto of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) to formally invite the alliance to join the coalition government.

Having won 115 out of 272 seats, Khan's PTI is falling short of 137 needed for a simple majority.

The half an hour speech Imran Khan delivered after his party's victory gave a good glimpse into the freshness and newness set to envelop the country in some years.

He also termed Modi's telephone call to Khan on his victory in the 2018 polls a welcoming sign to begin a new chapter in relations between the two countries.

Western officials say that while Pakistan has taken on huge debts to finance the projects, China's investment has gained access for China's military to Pakistan's Gwadar Sea Port, which is strategically placed west of India. "The solution to conflicts should be found through dialogue", he was quoted as telling Modi.

Ties between India and Pakistan have remained tense since the Mumbai terror attack in 2008, and worsened after the Uri terror attack by Pak-based terrorists.

India accuses Pakistan of backing several anti-India militant groups and helping them to infiltrate the divided Kashmir region to stoke violence.