Pakistan on Tuesday said “India’s internal politics” did not allow Narendra Modi to invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to his swearing-in ceremony on May 30, reported Dawn.

“His [Modi’s] entire focus [during the election campaign] was on Pakistan bashing,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “It was unwise to expect that he can get rid of this narrative [soon].”

Modi has invited leaders from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, bloc to the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. BIMSTEC is a regional group comprising India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth have also been invited.

In 2014, leaders of all nations from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation were invited to Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Nawaz Sharif, who was then Pakistan’s prime minister, had attended the event.

Khan called up Modi on Sunday and congratulated him for his electoral victory. The two leaders spoke about the “neighbourhood first” policy. Khan had posted a congratulatory tweet after the parliamentary election results were announced on Thursday. He had expressed his willingness to work with Modi for the progress of South Asia.

Qureshi said a meeting to find a solution to the Kashmir problem would be more a significant step than attending the swearing-in ceremony. “Finding a new way [to resume dialogue] is also essential for them [India],” he said. “If he [Modi] wants development of this region...the only way is to sit with Pakistan to find a solution.”

Qureshi claimed Pakistan did not create tension. “Now the entire world agrees that Pakistan had no role in the Pulwama incident,” he claimed.

Relations between India and Pakistan nosedived after militants belonging to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit killed 40 security personnel in Pulwama on February 14. India retaliated by targeting a Jaish camp in Balakot in Pakistan with airstrikes.