Chandigarh, Aug 1: Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu accepted the invite issued by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to attend Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony on August 11.
Sidhu's statement came shortly after PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary, while speaking to reporters in Islamabad, said four Indian dignitaries have been issued an invitation so far. They are: former cricketers Navjot Sidhu, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, along with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.
Sidhu is the first among the dignitaries who has confirmed his acceptance to the invite. Speaking to news agency ANI, the ex-cricketer-turned-politician said it will be an honour for him to be in attendance at the oath-taking event.
"It's a great honour and I accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character. He can be trusted," Sidhu said.
Khan's PTI emerged as the single-largest party in the general elections held last week, winning 116 seats -- 20 short of the majority mark. The party is, however, poised to form the next government with support from smaller parties and independent lawmakers.
Khan, 65, has succeeded in breaking the two-party grip in Pakistan politics as all erstwhile civilian governments have either been formed by the PML-N of ousted PM Nawaz Sharif or the PPP of ex-President Asif Ali Zardari. The two parties were reduced to 44 and 43 seats, respectively.
In his first address after the PTI emerged victorious, Khan stressed on improving bilateral relations with the neighbours, including India. He promised to take "two steps forward" towards India, provided that the "first step comes from New Delhi".