LAHORE: Ahead of President Asif Ali Zardari’s private visit to India on Sunday, he held a detailed meeting with the Prime Minister, army chief, foreign and interior ministers at the Governor House in Lahore on Saturday, Express News reported on Saturday.
Issues pertaining to national security are believed to have been discussed in the meeting. Given the proximity of the meeting with the President’s India trip, it may have served to update Zardari if any discussions with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh veer towards official policy matters on Sunday.
This will be the first trip to India for a Pakistani head of state since 2005.
Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that earlier the President had also held separate meetings with the Prime Minister and the Army Chief and discussed the ongoing search and rescue operation to save the lives of army and civil contractors trapped under the snow in Gayari sector near Siachen Glacier.
Earlier, Zardari had announced he would be undertaking a private trip to India, to visit Ajmer Sharif. He reportedly asked sanction for 12 ‘family members’ to accompany him on his visit.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had both clarified on the floor of the Parliament on Thursday that the President’s visit was private in nature and did not carry an official agenda. His scheduled lunch meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was part of traditional courtesy, and the two leaders were not expected to discuss official matters.