ibnlive » India

Apr 07, 2012 at 11:12am IST

Zardari, Manmohan to meet on Sunday

New Delhi: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in his visit to India on Sunday will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch. Driving the agenda, Pakistani supporters of 26/11 mastermind and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed came out to protest Zardari's day-long trip to India and a lunch stopover with Singh en-route to the Ajmer shrine.

While officials say all issues will be discussed between the leaders, its the US reward for Hafiz Saeed that is now taking centrestage, with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani striking a defiant note.

Gilani said, "The case of Hafiz Saeed is an internal matter. Is there is any concrete evidence against Saeed it should be provided to Pakistan, which has an independent judiciary."

India hit back immediately. Minister of External Affairs, SM Krishna said, "We have been repeating that the dossier the Home Minister of India has provided to the govt of Pakistan contains every detail of Hafiz Saeed's involvement in the planning and execution of the terrorist attack on Mumbai. So no amount of denials would exonerate them.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also likely to bring up other concerns including the slow pace of the 26/11 trial in Pakistan despite the visit of Pakistan's judicial commission last month. Also, no attempt to prosecute other masterminds besides Saeed and the continuance of terror groups in Kashmir.

Zardari's 47-member delegation will include interior minister Rehman Mallik and foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the two sides will also talk about progress in trade ties and the way forward on Kashmir.

All ensuring that Singh and Zardari will begin their meeting on Sunday with an already full plate. Because when leaders of India and Pakistan meet, it can never be just lunch.