Zardari, Singh talk: Indian PM to visit Pakistan

Published: April 8, 2012
President Zardari, Indian premier engage in 45-minute one-on-one meeting behind closed doors. PHOTO: PID

President Zardari, Indian premier engage in 45-minute one-on-one meeting behind closed doors. PHOTO: PID

NEW DELHI: Addressing the media after holding private talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, President Asif Ali Zardari said the two leaders had discussed a number of issues and were trying to resolve them through dialogue.

President Zardari and the Indian premier earlier engaged in a private meeting in the Indian capital without the presence of aides. Singh has accepted Zardari’s invitation to visit Pakistan and says he would visit the neighbouring country soon.

Accompanied by a large delegation including interior minister Rehman Malik, Zardari was greeted by India’s minister of parliamentary affairs, Pawan Kumar Bansal in New Delhi.

“I have taken advantage of President Zardari’s private visit to discuss all the bilateral issues and I am very satisfied with the outcome,” said Singh. He added that President Zardari had also invited him to visit Pakistan, which he said he would be “happy to do” on a mutually convenient date.

“Relations between India and Pakistan should become normal. That is our common desire. We have a number of issues and we are willing to find practical, pragmatic solutions,” said Singh.

President Zardari greeted the people of India and thanked Singh for inviting him for lunch. “We have had some very fruitful bilateral talks together. We have spoken on all the topics that we could have spoken about and are hoping to meet on Pakistani soil very soon.”

The president will be staying in New Delhi for three hours after which he will fly to Rajhastan on a private airplane and onwards to Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s mausoleum in Ajmer Sharif in a helicopter.

Former law minister Babar Awan tried to meet President Zardari while Zardari rejected his request and directed the security to not let him come and meet him.

Awan, is currently in New Delhi for some personal business.

$1m donation for Ajmer Sharif shrine

Zardari, while visiting the Ajmer Sharif shrine announced a donation of $1 million.

He said Asr prayers at the shrine and prayed for the betterment of humanity.

A silver replica of the shrine was also presented to the president.


Indian foreign secretary briefs media about meeting

Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, while briefing the media about the meeting held between President Zardari and Singh, said that Zardari asked Singh to discuss more about the US bounty on Jamaatud Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed.

He said that both leaders had a detailed discussion on the issue of terrorism.

Mathai said that Pakistan has taken steps forward towards India in the field of trade.


Do you think President Zardari’s visit to India will help ease tension between the two countries?

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Reader Comments (55)

  • truepak
    Apr 8, 2012 - 12:41PM

    Will this improve life for the common Pakistanis?


  • Apr 8, 2012 - 12:55PM

    @truepak:You have asked “Will this improve life for the common Pakistanis?” Yes if you so decide. It will be good for the present and future of subcontinent. We getting together can definitely keep the PHIRANGIS out of our affairs that they began with their arrival in Moughal courts. Divided us and ruled us.


  • Apr 8, 2012 - 12:56PM

    Whenever I previously heard “Nero played his lyre while Rome burnt”; it seemed some sort of myth.
    But that myth seems true now, having seen our honourable President (Commander-In-Chief & Head of State) pursue his “Personal Visit to India” at a time when 130+ of our soldiers are trapped below 60-feet of snow in Siachen.
    This reminds of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera who personally oversaw the rescue work of 33 miners (termed “Los 33”) trapped in a mine for 69 days at stretch till “Misión cumplida Chile” (“Mission accomplished Chile”) was flashed and all 33 miners were safely rescued.
    There can’t be any further mirage of INSENSITIVITY (after having already witnessed the French Château vacation of Mr. Presidenti while Pakistan was almost inundated in 2010 floods). Alas!


  • Mahesh Patil
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:32PM

    Neither India or Pakistan wants war,but love.You just have bogey of war and Defence personnel can have maximum of budget.We need water, sanitation,good roads,education,proper medication and above all TWO SQUARE MEALS per day.Any body is listening?


  • Pakistani Agnostic
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:37PM

    Our President should have told us the real intention of this visit. I mean, paying homage to Moinuddin Chisti is all well and good but it would be a similar thing had he visited Baba Farid shrine who also holds similar esteem.


  • Poledancer
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:41PM

    Would Obama go somewhere when 150 army soldiers had just died? Mahomen Singh told him he would visit Pakistan at a “convenient time”, hinting that Zardari should also look when it is convenient for him to go to India.Recommend

  • Yaida M
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:53PM

    The common man or woman in India or Pakistan have no say in Indo-Pak relations.Recommend

  • Maisam Ali
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @Poledancer Bravo !!!

    Why don’t you join foreign service? Officers like yours acumen are desperately needed there


  • Owais Ehsan
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:59PM

    Wrong timing Zardari, wrong timing… 150 Soldiers burried alive Recommend

  • Qasim
    Apr 8, 2012 - 2:41PM

    @Owais Ehsan:
    Zardari has the knack and misfortune of persisting with his trips (e.g. floods) at the wrong time. Extremely bad PR


  • Mohammad naeem
    Apr 8, 2012 - 2:57PM

    Zardari visited india on very right time. we can not do more when natural disasters like siachen occur! But we must prepare to secure ourselves from man-made disasters!
    Do someone listen.. america wanting us to b terribly isolated and we have to reach out more and more to our neighbours!


  • kB
    Apr 8, 2012 - 3:14PM

    @Mahesh patil:100% agreed with your comment.we need to learn from eouropean countries that have no borders and are using same currency.their citizens can go in every country without visa.Iam of opinion that India & pakistan should also make a confederation that will ultimately bring peace and prosperity in region.


  • MarkH
    Apr 8, 2012 - 3:17PM

    @Mohammad naeem:
    Yeah. It’s America pushing you into isolation. Right. You alone get the credit for that. Not America, not India, not intelligence agencies. You.


  • Apr 8, 2012 - 3:19PM


    Owais Ehsan, you’re clearly right. As if it was not human blood. Wheres the value of manlife left?


  • raw is war
    Apr 8, 2012 - 3:36PM



  • Apr 8, 2012 - 3:54PM

    Looks like they have reached to agreement over trade issuesRecommend

  • Apr 8, 2012 - 4:00PM

    There are always 3 sides to an argument. Yours, mine and the truth.


  • Pakistani
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:15PM

    its all about getting trillion $ mineral business from Afghanistan and leaving Pakistan with road tax . shame to our leaders which can’t generate opportunities like India as we are 1st neighbors of Afghanistan


  • Yaida M
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:16PM

    @Poledancer: These visits are planned well in advance. Stop playing to the gallery and let’s have a smidgen of perspective here.


  • Riaz Khan
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:16PM

    Asif Zardari is surely a brave man by visiting India & showing the desire for peacefull relations with India in spite of pressure from radical religious parties. I salute President Zardari!


  • rp
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:18PM

    hafis sayeed was discussed in detail ,,,,he is bone of contetion


  • Beatle
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:23PM

    Who did telephoned you? PM Manmohan OR President Zardari?


  • Beatle
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:31PM

    @Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA:
    The visit was planned well in advance, and the accident happened just yesterday. Your objection for Army Cheif for not personally going at site could have some meanings. Recommend

  • Apr 8, 2012 - 4:45PM

    @Pakistani Agnostic: Remember the story we read as a child of a father and son and their horse. Whether father was riding and son walking or son riding and father walking or neither of them riding some people had always to say say some thing mean and sarcastic. Yes some people can never be happy and can never see good in any thing.


  • Apr 8, 2012 - 4:49PM

    @Yaida M: “The common man or woman in India or Pakistan have no say in Indo-Pak relations.” Sorry Sir they have lot to say all the time and every time. Look at the way some people are spitting venom on this visit and making it almost impossible for our relations to improve.


  • Ahsan
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:51PM

    150 soldiers have nothing to do with Zardari. And good relations with India help us bring those soldiers back from Siachen.

    These heavy military spendings are not justified when millions on boyh side cant even have clean water and proper food.


  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:55PM

    No doubt Pakistan will profit from a normal relationship with India, which is more eager to have a stable neighbour than the contrary. India should help Pakistan develop a viable economy. A prosperous Pakistan will take the security burden off its neighbour’s mind. India can focus on other priorities and both countries can move on. Indeed, it’s a win-win solution.


  • khurshid
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Deeply tragic as the Siachin episode is I see no reason why Zardari should put off a visit with serious diplomatic connotations. The Chief Executive (PM) is in the country, the rescue operations are being conducted by the Army so will the Imran Khan brigade please stop whining and sniping at each and everything this govt. does? Maybe these discussions can lead to the two countries ending their presence on Siachin and removing the terrible human cost militaries from both sides are enduring in this madness of occupying glacial heights.


  • Lovely Singh
    Apr 8, 2012 - 4:58PM

    I love Zardari Smile


  • karachiwalla
    Apr 8, 2012 - 5:31PM

    $1 million, jeeeez!


  • Jibran
    Apr 8, 2012 - 5:50PM

    Will this improve life for the common Pakistanis?

    Yes! Peace always brings prosperity. If there is peace, we will be able to cut defense budget, spend more on healthcare, education, and development projects. Trade will bring revenue. We should be able to get goods cheaper from India. Water is another thorny issue, and we can’t keep on delaying it. Very welcome visit and hopefully a positive outcome.


  • Jibran
    Apr 8, 2012 - 5:57PM

    There are definitely people (Jamaat Dawa/JUI/PTI) within Pakistan who don’t like/want peace (there surely are some on the Indian side too). They thrive in conflict, and peace will bankrupt their business. They always have excuses, justifications, and outrageous comments. Its time to bury their voices forever.


  • Rubinah
    Apr 8, 2012 - 6:14PM

    khurshid “Maybe these discussions can lead to the two countries ending their presence on Siachin and removing the terrible human cost militaries from both sides are enduring in this madness of occupying glacial heights.”

    Dont hold your breath! Better men than Zardari have failed over Pakistans 60yr history. The reason – theres never been anyone who truly gives a damn. Pakistans best interests are not served by allowing politicians whose self-interests outweigh any concern for the Pakistanis. Recommend

  • narinder singh
    Apr 8, 2012 - 6:35PM

    i think if next election ppp come again in power indo pak relation will be normal and jehadi group will hide in caves


  • Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
    Apr 8, 2012 - 6:48PM

    Any peace initiative is welcome. Furthermore, President Asif Zardari is not a trained military person like ex-President Gen. Musarraf who can guide rescue teams in the frozen heights of Siachen. To expect Asif Zardari to visit the accident site is simply not fair. Furthermore, his presence there would create a hindrance to rescue efforts. Asif Zardari has done the right thing: left rescue operations to the trained personnel and he himself has taken a chance at rebuilding ties with the Indian Prime Minister. Pray he succeeds, as that would end the necessity of having brave young men posted at extremely unfavourable natural elements.Recommend

  • Thoughtful
    Apr 8, 2012 - 6:58PM

    Both weak leaders are in no position to sell any deal to their domestic audiences. That will have to wait till both countries finish with their elections.


  • Hindustan Ki Shakti
    Apr 8, 2012 - 7:25PM

    yes definitely it can , if-
    – Pakistan stops supporting extremists who are anti Indian, it will lead to normalisation of relations between 2 countries this will lead to growth in pakistani economy in 2 ways, increase in business between 2 countries will lead to growth of people of both countries especially pakistan , secondly heavy pakistani defence budget (in comparison to its GDP) will be diverted to growth & infra development in pakistan . Aid pakistan gets from developed western nation will be diverted in development of infra in pakistan.
    – Right now the war in Afghanistan which is supported by pakistan is being helped by pakistan. Musharaf accepted to join this war after sept 11 to protect pakistan from america. if pak would’nt have supported this then it would have saved thousands of pakistani lifes which have lost because of retaliation from friendly afghani muslims.pakistan wants to compete india and supports US so that it can keep the strategic ally with them, wheras support of US is causing them problems now.
    – So friendly relations with India by compromising/solving kashmir issue will create prosperity in both nations especially pakistan as the money which is used in anti india operations will be used in development & growth.
    – It will also speed up growth process of India as the heavy indian defence budget which is very heavy (although indian economy is able to afford it because of very strong economy) will be used in growth.
    – Both the nations will become developed nations in just 1-2 decades. all the western nations will run behind us.
    – But its a dream , God help this to become true.


  • Deepwater
    Apr 8, 2012 - 7:27PM

    Donating a million bucks when his own country has so many needs is more than a little excessive. Can someone tell me if Mr. Zardari is paying the cost of this trip from his own pocket?


  • Blithe
    Apr 8, 2012 - 7:49PM

    He has paid USD 1 mil through Pakistan’s
    State coffers?!?!?

    And what about taking up Kashmir resolution,
    without which peace will remain elusive in the region


  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Apr 8, 2012 - 8:05PM

    The significance of Zardari visit is that head of a Islamic country visited a secular nation for religious pilgrimage. Incidentally he is not the only one to visit India for pilgrimage. People of Buddhist (McLeaod Ganj home to Noble Prize for peace winner Dalai Lama; Sanchi in Ranchi area a site of enlightenment of Buddha), Zoroastrian, Christians (St Francis in Goa), Bahia (Lotus Temple in Delhi) faith India and this visit should end debate in Pakistan whether Pakistan is a religious or secular state. India is a prime example that a secular country can be a destination for pilgrimage for so many faiths. Imagine the soft power such journey creates for the country never mind the tourism and economic activity. Lesson for Pakistan is to respect minority rights and preserve religious sites so that in future people of other faith should be able to travel to Pakistan for their religious pilgrimage. Yes, I am aware of pilgrimages made by people of Sikh faith.


  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 8, 2012 - 9:34PM

    @j. von hettlingen: ” … India should help Pakistan develop a viable economy. A prosperous Pakistan will take the security burden off its neighbour’s mind. … “

    There are articles on ET that say that the Pakistani middle-class identity is one of Islam and being anti-Indian. Ergo, I am not sure helping Pakistan to develop a VERY viable economy is in India’s interest. More disposable income means more donations to “charaties” such as those run by Mr. Saeed.


  • Pakistani
    Apr 8, 2012 - 10:34PM

    This is the first time i am posting in the ET comments section, been reading alot of comments by Indian friends on articles since many months now…I am a believer in Pak-India dialogue and people to people interaction on all levels and most of all mutual respect…
    Indian friends are complaining about the hard-line stance of the Pakistani users and the strict language used BUT i’ve been going to a few indian websites such as NDTV,ZEE and especially Times of India and the pathetic and low grade third class disrespectful language used by Indians towards Pakistan,Islam and our people is just sickening…
    I am presuming that most of them are from the educated lot …
    I am all for Pak India friendship,who doesn’t want it…but my Indian friends before complaining here go to some of the websites i named and then decide …
    And come to Pakistan,people will welcome you with open hearts, i was in Lahore when Indian team came in 2004 and every Indian i met was ecstatic about the reception and hospitality of the Pakistani public…
    Their will be exceptions in ever society, their are extremists in your country aswell,and major incidents have taken place regarding minorities in India aswell… lets hope for a better future for our kids ….PEACE


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 8, 2012 - 10:41PM

    Time has come for Pakistan and India to amicably solve all pending after the independence once and for all.


  • Fajar Ali Khan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:13AM

    This is good development. We should solve all the issues pending between two countries amicably, war is not the solution to the long outstanding problems.


  • Afaq
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:16AM

    **Dear 150 Pakistanis May Allah help you and gives you strength to get out from this tough time.

    I hate this person

    who is standing with Manmohan Singh. May Allah help us to rid of this evil.**


  • Apr 9, 2012 - 12:38AM

    Love and peace are the ways for both the neighbor to stay safe and sound. I hope this process of peace will continue till the normalization of relation between the two countries.


  • Pradeep
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Hi Pakistani… I agree that some Indians in the websites you mentioned do shoot their mouth off. I apologize for that. I don’t want to give an excuse but it is only because most of the times, there is no moderation there and people are allowed say whatever they want. ET though has a moderated forum. So only the decent comments (at least in vocabulary if not spirit) end up here. Stop moderating and the floodgates of abuse will break open on both sides. You only need to see youtube comments to see the kind of racist… yes racist comments (like ugly “black” hindu) that are used by Pakistanis. Such commentators on both sides need to be taken back to their moms and be made to wash their mouth with soap and also cleanse their brains of such hatred and indecency.


  • Mirza
    Apr 9, 2012 - 1:02AM

    How people find time to hate when life is too short to love!
    Let us overcome the hate with love forever. No wonder the hate mongers are all upset and use every excuse to condemn peace moves. There has never been a war between Pakistan and India during the democratic rule in Pakistan. How many times the hate mongers can deny the facts?


  • Pollack
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:13AM

    “Both weak leaders are in no position to sell any deal to their domestic audiences. That will have to wait till both countries finish with their elections.”

    Tru to a certain extent but the Indian army chief reports to manmohan Singh and not the other way around unlike the case in Pakistan.


  • Pakistani
    Apr 9, 2012 - 5:37AM

    @ Pradeep,
    I agree their is a problem on both sides…the only solution is people to people interaction and mutual dialogue amongst the common man…unless that happens and the media continues to fuel hatred through negative and hyper reporting…then I see no hope for any way forward for the two countries…Dialogue is a must between the people and meaningful dialogue at state level aswell to solve all the issues without force…Peace


  • Common Man
    Apr 9, 2012 - 6:44AM

    Just a thought: What President Asif Ali zardari is wearing and what the India Premiere Manhom Singh is, in the above picture. Speaks volumes in itself.


  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:57AM

    Please Manmohan Singh (M.M.S.) don’t forget to donate at least $1m to any tomb/shrine in Pakistan as Zardari has done in Ajmer Sharif or must at least for Garhi Khuda Bux.


  • Hindustan Ki Shakti
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:03PM

    thanks for pakistani people who are welcoming peace efforts. I am not a astrologer but what i can see is-
    The peace efforts wont last longer . If 2-3 such healthy meetings occur then extremists in Pakistan wont accept them they will engineer another mumbai type of terrorist attack which will disrupt the entire process and create tensions again and we will be back to O. because if peace prevails then extremists will loose their importance and their politics is that they never want peace. They want the power when normal public is suffering.
    So what needs to be done is that people like Sayeed should be discouraged in pakistan , they should’nt be treated like gods. Only this can create everlasting peace.


  • Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:58PM

    “I’ve been going to a few indian websites such as NDTV, ZEE and especially Times of India and the pathetic and low grade third class disrespectful language used by Indians towards Pakistan, Islam and our people is just sickening…”

    My dear friend, what you don’t realize is that Indian law does not allow electronic newspapers to edit or moderate reader comments, unlike Pakistan where uncharitable comments are simply not published, leave alone moderation. Indian e-papers are required to either publish dito or not have the facility at all. As and when Pakistan gets into the social grid where personal opinions don’t count in news domain, you will get to see what these jihadis have to say about Indians in general and Hindus in particular.


  • Ali S
    May 1, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Having any sort of a rivalry with India today isn’t just pointless and stupid for Pakistan, but it’s essentially shooting yourself in the foot economically. I hope that relations between the two countries get better and they can benefit from each other.


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