Pakistan premier to make first visit to India
NEW DELHI (AFP) – Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will visit India for the first time this week for a day-long pilgrimage to a Muslim shrine, officials in both countries said Tuesday.
“Pakistan’s prime minister will be in India on Saturday. This is a private visit and he will be accompanied by his family and other officials,” an Indian government official said on condition of anonymity.
“He is not expected to meet any Indian political leaders. This is clearly a religious and spiritual trip,” he told AFP.
Ashraf and his family are expected to pray at the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz in Ajmer Sharif, some 400 kilometres west of New Delhi.
A senior Pakistani government official confirmed that Ashraf would make a private visit to India on Saturday, but said the details were being finalised.
“The details, including his programme, what he will do there and who he will meet, are being worked out,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Ashraf will be the most senior Pakistani to visit India since last April when President Asif Ali Zardari embarked on a similar pilgrimage and then had lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.