Islamabad, November 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, said the statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office. While the dates of the summit are yet to be announced, it is expected to be held before 2018-end.
The annual SAARC summit has not been held since November 2016 -- when it was cancelled after India pulled out citing Pakistan's alleged role in cross-border terrorism. After New Delhi's exit, neighbouring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal also decided to boycott the event which was then scheduled in Islamabad. 'Hug With Pakistan Army Chief Not a Rafale Deal': Navjot Singh Sidhu in Lahore.
Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan is committed towards resuming bilateral talks with India, provided the government across the border takes one step forward.
"As Prime Minister Imran Khan said, if Delhi takes one step towards us, we will take 10 steps," Faisal told reporters at the Kashmir Conference being held in Islamabad.
Faisal added that steps are being taken to gradually smoothen the relations between the two nations -- who have fought three major wars since their inception.
Political observers in India are unsure whether Modi would be accepting the invite from Pakistan -- which comes amid a crucial election year in India. The Prime Minister has been lambasting Islamabad in his poll rallies in frontier state of Rajasthan, accusing the nation o bolstering cross-border terrorism against India.
Possibility of India reciprocating the pro-talks gesture from Pakistan cannot be ruled out as significant diplomatic steps have been taken on the ground, reports said. A recent success on this front was reflected in the agreement reached by New Delhi and Islamabad to open up the Kartarpur corridor -- which connects Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to the Kartarpur Sahib shrine in Pakistan.