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Taj red carpet for Pak minister

delhi Updated: Sep 21, 2011 01:56 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
Shishir Gupta

Nearly three years after four Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists massacred 36 people at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the 26/11 attack, Pakistani commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim will spend a night at the iconic hotel on September 26, according to his present itinerary.

Fahim, 75, will be the first Pakistani minister to stay at the Taj after 26/11.

Though a suite has not been assigned for him yet, Fahim is slated to stay in the 108-year-old building en route to Delhi for a meeting with his Indian counterpart, Anand Sharma.

The Pakistan People's Party veteran will be given a red carpet treatment by the Taj group when he arrives in Mumbai on Monday night and flies to Delhi the next day, official sources said.

On the night of November 26, 2008, the LeT terrorists forced their way into the Taj, spreading mayhem and gunning down all in sight.

The victims included nine foreigners, a National Security Guard (NSG) commando, a Special Reserve Police officer, women and children.

The 60-hour gun battle between the terrorists and security men saw the LeT men setting fire to the sixth floor suites and trying to blast the hotel's central dome by placing a 10-kg improvised explosive device under it on the fifth floor.

All four terrorists and five associates - except Ajmal Amir Kasab - who targeted other spots in Mumbai, were killed by the NSG and Mumbai Police.