New Delhi, Jan 6: The US President Barack Obama, who will visit India on January 24 ahead of the Republic Day, has got an invitation from Ajmer Sharif Dargah to visit the sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
In October 2014, the US had said that it will help India in developing three smart cities in Ajmer Allahabad and Visakhapatnam apart from joining coordinated efforts with civil society and local authorities to provide clean water and sewage facilities in 500 cities in the country. [US to help India develop 3 smart cities]
According to a report published in TOI, Asrar Ahmed, president of the dargah committee, was quoted saying as, "Our intention behind this invitation is to start a discourse with the US which is responsible for creating the present perception of Islam on the basis of its engagement with the extremist groups."
In November 2010, during his maiden visit to India, Obama had interacted with the villagers from Kanpura, near Ajmer in Rajasthan via video conferencing.
During e-conference, villagers had informed Obama that with the help of broadband, education is accessible from remote villages and another big advantage of broadband is Tele-medicine. [Villagers interact with Obama through e-conference]
There are also reports that Obama, who will the Chief Guest at the Republic Day, is also likely to visit the historical monument Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajghat in New Delhi. [Obama may visit Taj Mahal during his trip to India]
In a major boost to the India-US ties in Nov 2014, Obama had accepted PM Narendra Modi's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. [Obama to be chief guest on Republic Day 2015]
Obama, who will be visiting India for the second time, will become the first US President to be the Guest of Honour on January 26.