Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has no confirmation so far of Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's plans to attend his daughter's wedding in New Delhi in the last week of November.
"Kasuri and I have been very good friends. We were together at Cambridge's Trinity Hall from 1961-63. He's welcome and will always be welcome to visit us at any time," Aiyar told Hindustan Times.
But he said Kasuri has not yet confirmed whether he would attend the November 26 wedding followed by a reception a day later.
In an interview in Islamabad, Kasuri too recalled his long association with Aiyar while disclosing that he might make a "private visit" to Delhi to attend the wedding. "Mani has spoken to me. We have been friends since our Cambridge days and he attended my son's wedding in Lahore," remarked Kasuri.
The Pak Minister hoped that he would get to meet Pranab Mukherjee, his Indian counterpart whom he has already congratulated on his new assignment: "If he (Mukherjee) is present we will meet. We have not yet planned (the meeting) but I will be happy to meet him. Hope he will be present at the (wedding) reception."
In the yearlong interregnum between Mukherjee's appointment and K Natwar Singh's exit in November, 2005, Kasuri often said the absence of a Cabinet-level Minister in New Delhi had marginalised his role in bilateral Indo-Pak interactions.
From all available indications, Kasuri's visit, if it does come about, would need some coordination between the two governments. By the time he's here, the November 13-14 Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks would have happened and New Delhi might opt to avail the opportunity for a meeting between the two Foreign Ministers.
In the ongoing composite dialogue process, the Ministers meet at the conclusion of each round. Kasuri was in Delhi at the end of the first round and Natwar Singh visited Islamabad after the second when the two sides announced the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus-link.