'To my friend, Prime Minister of India'

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New Delhi, May 31: A school friend from Pakistan met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday after years of separation. When Singh took over as Prime Minister in May 2004, Raja Ali Mohammad had sent his personal greetings through his nephew, a Deputy Commissioner in Pakistan, along with a set of embroidered golden Punjabi slippers, popularly called "Tille Wali Jutti", as a gift.

Expressing his gratitude to his native villagers and friend in Pakistan, Dr Singh had written to them and promised them a visit to his native village some day. A long time has passed since their last meeting, but for Raja Ali, his friend always remained the same. Raja Ali crossed over to India on May 23, and has brought with him souvenirs of their shared past. He brought about four small packets of soil and a jug full of water collected from their native Gah village in Pakistan's Chakwal District.

Raja Ali also carried photographs of their Gah village and of the Katasraj Temple, besides a copy of the school record where Dr Singh's name was registered.

Interacting with the media on his arrival, Raja Ali had said that it was due to Dr Singh that the Government of Pakistan built two high schools and hospitals in Gah village.

Raja Ali informed that an under-construction school in Pakistan would soon be named after Dr Singh.


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