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Pak pins high hopes on Zardari's visit

world Updated: Apr 08, 2012 23:35 IST
HT Correspondents

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to India has found largescale appreciation in the country, with many maintaining that the visit was more than just a private pilgrimage.

The Daily Dawn newspaper said making Zardari's India visit more significant was the fact that he received a detailed briefing on the tour from foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani at the Governor House a day before his departure.

Pakistan PM Yusuf Raza Gilani and chief of army staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani also called on him on Saturday night, after which they held a meeting with Khar and Malik. Gen. Kayani had also met Zardari a few days ago.

In Pakistan, there are expectations that Zardari's visit would pave the way for trade and also speed up talks on related issues.

However, the right-wing Pakistan Difa Council has warned that they would oppose any move to improve relations as long as the Kashmir issue remained unresolved.

The visit was closely covered by nearly all channels in Pakistan on Sunday. It is being seen as a public relations stunt more for Pakistan than India. A commentator on GEO TV, a local news channel, said this visit would help Zardari politically - considering the Ajmer shrine is respected by many here.

Better ties will help region: China
Better ties between India and Pakistan could aid China's modernisation drive and bring in regional stability, the government-controlled Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

Zardari's visit was closely followed by China's government-controlled media. The Xinhua news agency, for one, issued several stories on the meeting from Islamabad as well as New Delhi, underlining the fact that Beijing was keenly watching the development.

In a signed comment piece by current affairs commentator Yu Zhixiao, the news agency said: "Peaceful coexistence between the two indispensable for regional stability. That, in turn, is vital for regional prosperity and China's modernisation drive."