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Top level security for Zardari and son

delhi Updated: Apr 07, 2012 01:56 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
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India will provide highest level of security to Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, his son Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, interior minister Rehman Malik and foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani during their one-day pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif on Sunday.

Government sources said advance liaison team from Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) arrived in Delhi on Friday to tie up security and logistics for Zardari’s trip and had day-long meetings with their counterparts from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The Pak teams are slated to go to Jaipur and Ajmer on Saturday for the final tie-up for the forthcoming visit.

Official sources said while the Pakistan president will be accompanied by his personal security teams, New Delhi will spare no ends to provide comprehensive security to the VVIP visitor and his son, who is the chairman of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP). This includes multiple pilots, full escort and medical cover with the route being sanitised for the Pak leader in New Delhi, Jaipur and Ajmer.

As Zardari is expected to reach Ajmer around 5pm, he may offer “Asr” namaz at the holy shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. He will fly out from Jaipur the same day.

It is understood that at the lunch hosted by Manmohan Singh, Indian ministers, National Security Advisor and foreign secretary will be present. It is not clear if home minister P Chidambaram will be present to meet Rehman Malik as he goes to his constituency Sivaganga on every weekend.

While there is no official agenda for the 45-minute meeting between Singh and Zardari, it is nevertheless important as Zardari is politically on a strong wicket after Senate poll wins and PPP is expected to do well in the national assembly polls.