Pak PM Ashraf reaches Ajmer Shrine

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 09, 2013 11:40 hrs

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, has reached the historic dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer to offer his prayers.

Ashraf, who is accompanied by his family relatives, arrived here from Jaipur.

The Pakistani Prime Minister earlier in the day had a luncheon meeting with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid at the Rambhagh Palace hotel in Jaipur.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in and around the shrine keeping in view the Pakistani Prime Minister's visit. The dargah dewan of Ajmer shrine, Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, has said that he would not assist the Pakistani Prime Minister in prayers as a mark of protest over the mutilation of the bodies of the two Indian soldiers.

The dargah dewan of Ajmer shrine earlier on Friday said that he was opposed to the visit by the Pakistani Prime Minister in the wake of the January 2013 beheading of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I will not welcome or be present during his visit to the Dargah. The inhuman manner in which Indian soldiers were treated by the Pakistan Army is despicable and condemned it in the strongest of words. It will be a dishonour to the families of the Indian soldiers who were beheaded by their (Pakistan) army," he told media in Ajmer.

Ashraf is the first Pakistani leader to visit India after the brutal beheading of two Indian jawans along the LoC by the Pakistani troops in January this year.

Ashraf will return to Jaipur in the evening and leave for Islamabad.

On the eve of the Ashraf's visit, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made it clear that normalisation of relations with Pakistan cannot take place unless the terror infrastructure there is dismantled.

Dr. Singh told the Parliament yesterday that India has made sincere efforts to normalise its relations with Pakistan.

The dialogue process between the two Asian neighbours was impacted by ceasefire violations on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in January this year with India lodging a strong protest over the brutal killing of two of its soldiers in the Poonch sector. (ANI)

More from Sify: