Asian Age Correspondents
New Delhi, 8 April 2012. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s India visit on Sunday may be “private” but it was increasingly assuming “official” hues on Saturday for, under the broad term of “bilateral issues”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to raise with Mr Zardari India’s concern about 26/11 terror attacks mastermind and Laskhar-e-Tayyaba founder Hafiz Saeed roaming freely in Pakistan despite the evidence New Delhi has provided of his involvement.
An indication of this came when, ahead of Mr Zardari’s visit, the Union home ministry handed over to the Prime Minister’s Office all the dossiers it has given to Pakistan post 26/11, including the one on Saeed. Earlier this week, the US government put out a bounty of $10 million on Saeed.
Amidst indications that Saeed will figure in the PM-President meeting, Mr Zardari himself chose to strike a different note on Saturday. He told reporters in Lahore that he did not expect Saeed to be the focus of his meeting with the Indian PM. “My stance on Saeed is not different from that of my government. My visit to India is of a religious nature and I do not think Manmohan Singh will make me sit (and discuss only) this issue,” said Mr Zardari.
Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik is also part of the the Pakistan President’s delegation.
The Zardari-Singh meeting is scheduled for half an hour, beginning 12.15 pm Sunday at the Prime Minister’s 7, Race Course Road residence.