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India exploring PM's visit to Pakistan this year

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) Dr Manmohan Singh's first visit to Pakistan as Prime Minsiter is likely to take place later this summer, giving a push to the ongoing peace process.

''If all goes well, the visit will take place some time in July/August,'' official sources indicated today.

The indication comes in the wake of the launch of the Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service flagged off by Dr Singh on March 24 and the Munabao-Kokrapar rail service a month earlier.

India would also closely monitor the level of infiltration, which normally increases in summer following the melting of ice along the Line of Control, before deciding on the visit, the sources said.

Any significant drop in infiltration during this summer would be taken as a ''positive signal'' for going ahead with the visit of Dr Singh to Islamabad for another summit meeting between the two countries.

The exercise to explore the possibility of Dr Singh's visit was set in motion by senior officials of the PMO and the Exeternal Affairs Ministry, the sources said.

Dr Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had last met in September last year on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Prior to that, the two leaders had a meeting here in April 2 last when the General had come to watch the one-day cricket match played at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.

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