Pakistan President visits India on low-profile trip

 

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was scheduled to visit India on a private trip today that also gives him a chance to meet Indian leaders amid a thaw in relations between the two South Asian rivals.

Zardari's visit, the first by a Pakistani head of state in seven years, is the most visible sign that the two countries have put behind them the enmity that followed the 2008 terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Zardari will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before heading to the Ajmer Sharif shrine of a famous Sufi Muslim saint in India's western state of Rajasthan.

The two leaders will hold talks in private, with no aides present. Indian officials said all outstanding issues between the two sides would be discussed.

Singh is widely expected to raise India's concerns about security and insist that Pakistan show its seriousness about reining in terrorist groups that were behind the Mumbai attacks. India blamed the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and demanded that Islamabad crack down on them.

Earlier this week, United States slapped a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the group's founder, who operates openly in Pakistan.

India is expected to press Pakistan to act against Saeed, seen as the mastermind of the 2008 attack when 10 Pakistani terrorists killed 166 people across India's financial capital.

Zardari's visit comes a day after a massive avalanche in Pakistan when a wall of snow buried around 135 Pakistani soldiers near the Siachen glacier in the high Himalayas.

The two leaders are likely to dwell on the situation in Siachen, often described as the world's highest battlefield. India and Pakistan have stationed thousands of troops in the icy reaches of Siachen, the control of which remains a simmering dispute between the two neighbors.

Although no major breakthrough was expected during Sunday's meeting, analysts say the meeting would help keep up the momentum of a dialogue process between India and Pakistan that was kicked off last year.

“The two leaders will express their commitment to the peace process, but it's unlikely that any major breakthrough will come about,” said C. Uday Bhaskar, a New Delhi-based defense analyst.

Trade between the two countries has jumped in recent years. Pakistan recently announced that it was lifting trade restrictions on India and the two countries are working on easing visa restrictions on the business community.

But both sides remained far from resolving their conflict over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which both claim in its entirety.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the partition of the subcontinent on independence from Britain in 1947. Two of the wars have been over Kashmir.

Zardari will be accompanied by around 25 members of his family, including his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has been anointed as his political heir.

Every day, thousands of believers visit the shrine of Sufi saint Moinudin Chishti in Ajmer, 350 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Delhi.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve