Pak Prez Zardari to meet PM on April 8

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi over lunch on April 8 before making a private visit to the famous 13th century Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.

This will be the first visit to India by a Pakistani Head of State since 2005, when then President Pervez Musharraf had travelled to New Delhi.

"The President has accepted the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for lunch in New Delhi en route to Ajmer Sharif on April 8," presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar told PTI tonight.

Zardari will visit Ajmer in Rajasthan "on a private visit for ziarat and prayers at the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz", Babar said.

"The President will return to Islamabad the same day," he added. The visit comes against the backdrop of several steps taken by India and Pakistan in recent months to normalise bilateral relations, especially in trade.

Zardari and Singh had last met on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Russia in 2009.