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.