Sunday, 08 April 2012 03:37
President Asif Ali Zardari will invite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan by the end of this year during his meeting in New Delhi tomorrow.
This was stated by Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit on the eve of Zardari's day-long visit to India during which he will hold talks with Singh at the PM's Race Course Road residence which will be followed by lunch.
"President Zardari will invite Prime Minister Singh to visit Pakistan by the end of this year," Basit said.
While the Pakistani leadership has extended the invitation to Prime Minister earlier, this would be first time that a time-frame has been proposed for the summit meeting. On his part, Singh has accepted the invitation earlier but has made it clear that he would undertake the visit only if there is likelihood of a substantive outcome.
Singh had reiterated this on his way back from the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul last month when he told reporters that he would visit Pakistan provided there is "something to celebrate".
Describing Zardari's visit to India as "important", Basit however said that there was "no agenda" though the two leaders are expected to discuss all bilateral issues and the regional situation.
"As far as the talks are concerned, there is no agenda and it is not a structured dialogue," he said adding "But when the two leaders meet, bilateral issues between Pakistan and India and the regional situation will be discussed."
Zardari will be the first Pakistani head of state to visit India since 2005, when the then military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, had travelled to New Delhi for talks with the Indian leadership.