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Tight security in Ajmer for Prez Zardari visit

Ajmer: Elaborate security arrangements are in place for the high-profile visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today to Ajmer, where he will offer prayers at the renowned 13th century shrine of sufi saint Khwaja Moninuddin Chisti.

56-year-old Zardari, who will first land in New Delhi for a luncheon meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will arrive with a 44-member delegation by helicopters from Jaipur at the Ghughara helipad on the city outskirts at around 4.10 PM.

The visiting President will be welcomed by divisional commissioner Atul Sharma, IGP Rajesh Nirwan, Collector Manju Rajpal and SP Rajesh Meena. From the helipad, the Pakistani President`s convoy will travel 12.3 km by road for the dargah.

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"All preparations have been done perfectly and the dargah premises will be vacated after afternoon prayer which is called `Zuhar`. None will be allowed to stay inside the premises and shops in dargah bazaar will remain closed from security point of view during the visit," an official of district administration said today.

Multi-tier security arrangements will be in place during the visit, with 1,600 police personnel guarding the entire area from the helipad to the dargarh.

The dargarh area will turn into a fortress during the VIP visit. "The delegation comprises of 38 Pakistani members and 6 Indians," another official said.

Representatives of Dargah committee, the committee of Khadims will welcome the VIPs at the dargah.

Zardari will be the first Pakistani head of state to visit India since 2005, when the then military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, had travelled to New Delhi for talks with the Indian leadership.

Pakistan`s top leadership has described Zardari`s trip as a "private visit" aimed at fulfilling a long-standing desire to offer prayers at the famous Ajmer dargah.


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