Religious pilgrimage: Ashraf to undertake private visit to India

Published: March 5, 2013
Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. PHOTO: PID

NEW DELHI: Almost a year after President Asif Ali Zardari visited the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz in Ajmer Sharif, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf will undertake his first to India this week to seek blessings.

“Pakistan’s prime minister will be in India on Saturday. This is a private visit and he will be accompanied by his family and other officials,” an Indian government official said on condition of anonymity.

“He is not expected to meet any Indian political leaders. This is clearly a religious and spiritual trip,” he told AFP.

A senior Pakistani government official confirmed that Ashraf would make a private visit to India on Saturday, but said the details were being finalised.

“The details, including his programme, what he will do there and who he will meet, are being worked out,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Ashraf will be the most senior Pakistani to visit India since last April when President Asif Ali Zardari embarked on a similar pilgrimage and then had lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Tensions between the neighbours came under fresh strain in January when six soldiers were killed in exchanges along the de facto border in Kashmir, a region claimed by both countries.

The situation has calmed since a ceasefire was agreed between the two armies at the end of January.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 5, 2013 - 11:57AM

    Might as well stay there and not come back.


  • naeem hussaine
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:01PM

    Goin to India on the orders of Ameica.


  • Caliban
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:05PM

    Why do Pakistani politicians behave thus? What purpose is served by visiting an old grave with mouldering remains? Instead donate the money to a charity. God will understand.


  • Char Latan
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:11PM

    It would be a lot more convenient if the Ajmer shrine was moved to New Delhi.


  • Tax Payer
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:13PM

    and on whose expense will he travel?


  • Queen
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:13PM

    People are crying over their loved ones and our PM is ready to visit India on our tax money. I am not going to vote for either the PPP or the for the PMl-N in the elections.


  • psychedelic
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:29PM

    India can keep him there as a case study of how not to run a government.


  • Uza Syed
    Mar 5, 2013 - 1:12PM

    Instead of going to Ajmer at our cost — He should have come to Karachi and showed his solidarity & sympathies with the innocent victims of terrorism in our city who were made victims in Abbas Town. He was needed among our people right now, Ajmer could wait as it has for long time until he made it.


  • Nasir Mahmood
    Mar 5, 2013 - 1:18PM

    He should have first visited the Karachi people to condole with them but everyone knows our politicians have no moral ethics.


  • Tee
    Mar 5, 2013 - 1:51PM

    Shows their preferences, and people of Pakistan are certainly not in that list.


  • Adnan
    Mar 5, 2013 - 2:27PM

    I have not heard PM Raja ever went to Daata Darbar or any shrines of any other Sufi Saints in Pakistan.. why they go to Ajmer? Completely mind boggling.


  • MSH
    Mar 5, 2013 - 2:33PM

    Height of hypocrisy. Someone should look into who is paying for this unnecessary trip at this juncture in our history. Also how about visiting the dead and dying in Karachi and Quetta.


  • Fed Up Indian
    Mar 5, 2013 - 2:38PM

    I don’t understand why so many Pakistanis are moaning over paying tax for his visit when over 99% of them don’t pay tax at all!


  • Shahid Anwar
    Mar 5, 2013 - 2:48PM

    @Uza Syed:

    He was in Karachi for past few days and vistied the hospitals but that wasn’t important enough to give news space to you see.


  • Faisal
    Mar 5, 2013 - 3:50PM

    He should have visited Abbas town first. but who cares.


  • Mar 5, 2013 - 5:21PM

    Movement restrictions between two country should be demolished and let citizens travel where they desire.


  • Stranger
    Mar 5, 2013 - 6:14PM

    I think its a nice step. More and more interaction should be encouraged between these 2 countries. The reasons need not always be political or diplomatic. Its healthy in the long run.


  • aahu-aahu-aahu
    Mar 5, 2013 - 7:20PM

    @psychedelic: India has too many instances of incompetent ministers….we don’t want extreme cases..


  • Genesis
    Mar 5, 2013 - 9:20PM

    With restrictions 26/11 attacks on Mumbai happened


  • Randeep Sherpao
    Mar 5, 2013 - 9:56PM

    @Billoo Bhaya:
    Keep your problems with you


  • Mar 6, 2013 - 2:26AM

    If it’s a private visit then why is he taking “other officials” along.
    To an outsider one thing stands out is that India preserves religious / pilgrimage sites for worship by minority groups unlike so called Islamic nations where government protected /inspired hooligans routinely attack and demolish shia mosques, hindu temples, christian churches or buddhist statues. Babri masjid is an aberration. It had no government blessings.
    Probably the PM is trying to highlight this to his fellow islamists. If this is so then best of luck to him and to Pakistan.


  • Poppadamus
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:39AM

    It is ‘jirg’ to bow your head at such places. It is totally against tenets of Islam to visit dargah’s. Hadith dictates a true muslim to offer ‘sajdah’ ONLY & ONLY in front of Allah.
    Love Allah!! alhamdullillah !!


  • SHB
    Mar 6, 2013 - 9:07AM

    @Fed Up Indian:
    That is a separate issue from his visit to India. We are not talking about the number of tax payers in Pakistan. So please keep yourself to the topic ,we are discussing. Thanks.


  • SHB
    Mar 6, 2013 - 9:09AM

    You are very right.


  • Mar 6, 2013 - 1:38PM

    @poppadamus:then u dont..but don’t interfere in others choice of religious practice if it is harmless to the society and people are liberal open minded in their thoughts…as far as his ‘pilgrimage’ is concerned… I think this is not a good time to visit my country wen there are multitudes of problems wreaking havoc in pak..


  • joy
    Mar 6, 2013 - 6:42PM

    @Caliban: “Why do Pakistani politicians behave thus? What purpose is served by visiting an old grave with mouldering remains? Instead donate the money to a charity. God will understand.”
    Sir, you have every right to have an opinion about ur PM. But please refrain from describing Ajmer sharif as “old grave with mouldering remains,” WE Indians hold it in high esteem irrespective of our religious beliefs.


  • aks
    Mar 7, 2013 - 3:35AM

    This man had no sense whatsoever


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