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Zardari to invite Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan


Altamash Hashmi,CNN-IBN
Apr 07, 2012 at 10:02pm IST

New Delhi: This is the second time Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is coming to India on a personal visit. He was last here in 2005 to offer prayers at the Ajmer Dargah with wife Benazir Bhutto.

But this time there's an element of politics too. He's expected to have an hour long chat with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. According to Pakistan foreign office, Zardari will also invite Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan by the end of this year.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said, "All bilateral issues to be discussed."

Manmohan Singh is also likely to bring up 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 Hafiz Saeed and the continuance of terror groups in Kashmir.

However, Zardari has already made it clear that he doesn't expect Saeed to be the focus of the meeting.

"If Rehman Malik is coming then they are prepared for that (Saeed talk). I don't think they will deviate from what they have been saying in public which that unless they have solid proof they can't do anything," Former Addition secretary RAW Jayadev Ranade said.

High level intelligence sources are looking at Zardari visit from another angle. When he returns home he may tell the people of Pakistan that the threat from India has reduced. This may lay the ground for justifying a reduction in the army's budget something which no civilian government in that country has ever dared.

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