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Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes Pakistan-often accused by neighbours India and Afghanistan of fomenting terrorism and supporting terrorist networks in the region-will work towards creating a secure, stable and prosperous neighbourhood.

Indian cricket Sunil Gavaskar has declined to attend Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony on August 18 as the prime minister, media reported. But he has cleared that he won't be travelling to Pakistan and has declined the invitation.

"In a historic moment, Imran Khan will take the oath (as prime minister) on Aug 18", Faisal Javed Khan, a PTI senator and Khan's close aide, said in televised comments in Islamabad. He also hoped that Imran works for the betterment of Pakistan during his tenure at the helm while also expecting that the relations between the two countries improve immensely.

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Earlier in the day, the Election Commission of Pakistan accepted the unconditional written apology from Khan for violating the secrecy of the ballot, removing the last possible hurdle in his swearing-in.

During the brief conversation, Mr Khan thanked Mr Sidhu for praising him.

Both Sidhu and Dev were contemporaries of the cricketer-turned-politician and had played several matches against Khan's Pakistan cricket team.


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