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Indian PM, Pakistan President Zardari keen to improve ties.

New Delhi, April 8 -- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday signalled a positive movement forward, with both the leaders saying they were keen on improving relations between the two neighbours.

Addressing the media after a 30 minute one-on-one meeting in New Delhi, both the leaders expressed hope and satisfaction over the meeting.

Zardari thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for hosting him though he was on a private visit. The Pak President said his meeting with Manmohan Singh was fruitful and they discussed all the issues concerning both the countries. He said Pakistan was interested in having better relations with India. Terror and Hafiz Saeed issues reportedly figured in the talks, according to the Indian Foreign Secretary.

Zardari said he hoped to see Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Pakistan soil soon.

Referring to his one-on-one meeting with Zardari, Manmohan Singh said he had a very friendly and constructive dialogue on all bilateral issues with the Pak President. I am very satisfied with Zardari's visit, the PM said adding that President Zardari had invited him to Pakistan and he will be very happy to undertake the trip at a 'convenient time'. He said that both sides wanted bilateral relations to become normal and New Delhi was willing to find prgamatic solutions to problems between the two countries.

President Zardari left Delhi for Ajmer soon after the lunch hosted by Manmohan Singh, to offer prayers at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Asif Ali Zardari, his son Bilawal and the Pakistan delegation, reached Ajmer around 4pm to offer prayers at the famed Sufi shrine that is visited by thousands of people of all faiths.

Residents whose houses face the dargah have been asked to keep their windows shut while the Pakistan president is inside the shrine on Sunday afternoon. A police official said people residing near the dargah have already been given a list of do's and don'ts.

All the stores catering to pilgrims situated along a one kilometre-long narrow lane leading to the shrine were told to shut shop between 1.30pm and 6pm. Devotees have been barred from visiting the shrine from 2pm to 6pm, except for the khadims or shrine caretakers, who will help Zardari perform prayers. Vehicular movement around the shrine was also halted during the half an hour that Zardari is to spend at the dargah.

A senior police official said that over 3,000 policemen have been deployed around the shrine, which is 12 km away from the Ajmer helipad where Zardari will land in a helicopter from Jaipur. "We have stationed around 80 police personnel inside the dargah, while the same number of police personnel will be deputed at the highrise buildings surrounding it," the official.

- Asian Tribune -

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 8, 2012
Words:490
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