Pak PM's Ajmer visit: Ashraf, Khurshid have lunch in Jaipur

Raja Pervez Ashraf and Salman
Jaipur, Mar 9: The plane carrying Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf who is slated to offer prayers at the dargah (shrine) of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer landed at the airport here around noon on Saturday.

Security was beefed up at the airport as some organisations and even the spiritual head of the shrine have strongly objected to Ashraf's private visit. Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan has cited the beheading of a Indian jawan near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir two months ago to justify his decision to boycott the Pakistani premier.

In interviews to different news channels on Friday, Abedin said that he will not assist Ashraf's prayers since it will be a dishonour to the family of Lance Naik Hemraj who was decapitated by a Border Action Team of the Pakistani army on Jan 8.

Taking advantage of the fog in the area on that day, the Pakistanis entered nearly 100 metres into the Mendhar sector of the LoC and killed Hemraj as well as Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. Clearly flouting the rules of engagement, the intruders mutilated the latter's body and took away the head of the former.

Both the jawans belonged to the 13 Rajputana Rifles regiment. The incident heightened tensions on both sides of the border and Army Chief Bikram Singh warned of retaliation if there was any further provocation from the Pakistani side.

However, Singh did not make any comment about Ashraf's visit to the shrine in Ajmer when newspersons contacted him. The army chief pointed out that the UPA government had decided to let the Pakistani prime minister come to India on a pilgrimage.

Hemraj's relatives have already slammed the decision to welcome Ashraf. It is to be noted that External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is hosting a lunch in honour of the Pakistani premier at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur on Saturday.

Though Khurshid averred that it will be "lunch and only lunch, no talks", the outfits which are opposing Ashraf's visit staged protest outside the Rambagh Palace after the Pakistani PM arrived at the hotel.

OneIndia News

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