Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will be visiting India for the first time this week for a day-long pilgrimage to the Ajmer Sharif shrine near Jaipur, a senior government official said in New Delhi on 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,” the 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 program, what he will do there and who he will meet, are being worked out,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
It will be the most senior visit from a Pakistani official to India since last April when President Asif Ali Zardari embarked on a similar pilgrimage and then had a lunch meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Tension between India and Pakistan surged in January when a total of six soldiers were killed in exchanges along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Pakistani troops crossed onto the India side and killed two Indian soldiers; one of them was found decapitated.
Though both countries exchanged severe language and warnings, they agreed that the killings should not provoke a larger crisis.
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