Pak PM not welcome at Ajmer shrine: Dargah head


AJMER: Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf who is due to make a trip to India just to visit the Ajmer Dargah on Saturday, is not welcome, said the head of the world famous Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty shrine.

The head of the dargah, Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan said that he has not processed any of the paperwork of the Pakistan PM, or his family, ahead of the visit as a mark of protest over the brutal beheading of an Indian soldier along the Line of Control.

“It will be a dishonor to the families of the Indian soldiers who were beheaded by their army. They should bring back the heads of our jawans. I have no idea why he (Pakistan PM) is coming here”, Khan said.

Khan had added that he would boycott Ashraf’s visit to the shrine.

“I will not welcome or be present during his visit to the dargah”, he said.

A Pakistani security team has already arrived in Rajasthan’s Ajmer town ahead of the visit.

Ashraf said he would make the pilgrimage in a personal capacity to pray for the success of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in upcoming elections. However, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said he will host lunch for the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile the Ajmer Bar Association has demanded that the status of “state guest” given to the Pakistan prime minister be withdrawn.

“Asharf is welcome in Ajmer as a common devotee, but providing facilities and security will not be tolerated,” said bar association president Rajesh Tandon.

He said the association had planned to show black flags to the Pakistan prime minister if his cavalcade passed the district and session court.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto had visited the shrine last year, but as it was during a thaw in relations between the two countries there were no objections raised at the time.

Khurshid rejects Ajmer priest’s call

Despite the growing demand in India to cancel Pakistan Prime Minister’s Raja Pervez Ashraf’s trip to Ajmer Sharif, the Centreremains unmoved.

A day after announcing to host lunch in the honour of Ashraf in Jaipur, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday that “one shouldn’t oppose a visiting dignitary who comes in to pray at a religious shrine”.

“This is a private visit,” Khurshid said, appealing people to welcome the Pakistani leader “with peace and send a message of peace”.

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