Zardari in India, begins talks with Manmohan
New Delhi : By Ians
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived here Sunday shortly before noon on a day-long visit during which he will hold significant talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and offer prayers at the famous dargah in Ajmer that draws people of all religions.
Zardari was warmly received at the airport by Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who has been designated as minister-in-waiting for the Pakistan leader's visit to India.
Zardari headed straight to the prime minister's official residence at 7 Race Course Road for talks. He was met warmly with almost a minute long double-handed clasp by Manmohan Singh.
The two will have one on one talks followed by lunch for senior members of the president's delegation.
The Pakistani president is accompanied by around 40-member delegation that includes his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar and close members of the family.
Manmohan Singh and Zardari are expected to discuss "all issues," including Kashmir and terror, that bedevil the India-Pakistan relationship, informed sources in New Delhi said.
The focus will be on setting a positive agenda that could include some initiatives in promoting trade between the two countries.
He flies in the afternoon to Ajmer to offer prayers at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. This is the first presidential visit from Pakistan in the last seven years. Pervez Musharraf was the last Pakistani president to visit India in April 2005.