Pakistani leader will make trip to Indian Sufi shrine

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Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari will visit India’s shrine of a famous Sufi Muslim saint in the first trip by a Pakistani head of state to the country since 2005, it was confirmed yesterday.

It comes at a time of improving relations between the two countries.

“The visit has been on the cards for sometime, and initially it was a private visit,” a presidential spokesman said.

Mr Zardari will travel to the Ajmer Sharif shrine in Rajasthan district, said the spokesman. The visit will take place “very soon,” but exact dates are being worked out, he added. The site is not far from the India-Pakistan border.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir, since they both gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Relations hit a low point in 2008, when militants killed 166 people in attacks on a hotel and other sites in the Indian city of Mumbai.