South Asia News
Pakistani president visits India for lunch meeting, prayers
Apr 8, 2012, 7:03 GMT
New Delhi - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in India Sunday for a lunch meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to be followed by a visit to a famous Sufi shrine.
Zardari and Singh are expected to hold private talks before the lunch which would be attended by some members of Zardari's 40-member delegation and top Indian politicians from the ruling coalition and the opposition.
The two leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues including terrorism and steps taken by Pakistan to punish those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and bilateral trade during their one-on-one talks.
No statements are expected to be made after the meeting between the two leaders and their talks are unlikely to go into detail, diplomatic sources said.
Zardari will be the first Pakistani president to visit India in seven years. New Delhi accepted his request to visit the shrine of the Sufi Muslim saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer town of Rajasthan state.
The private visit took on a more serious nature when Singh invited Zardari for lunch on his way to Ajmer.
India and Pakistan have had a fraught relationship, including three wars, since they gained independence from British rule in 1947, two of them over the disputed region of Kashmir.
Relations between the South Asian neighbours have improved in recent months, with official talks on areas of disagreement including border disputes and steps to ease trade barriers.
After offering prayers at the shrine, Zardari was expected to fly directly back to Islamabad.
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