Amid protests, Pak PM prays for 'world peace'
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Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf on Saturday prayed for "world peace" during his visit to the 13th century dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer.
He arrived, accompanied by his family and senior officials, in Jaipur in the afternoon and was received at Hotel Rambagh Palace by Foreign Minister Khurshid. Ashraf, his wife, son, the Pakistan High Commissioner and another official sat at the head table with Khurshid to share a sumptuous Rajasthani lunch. The fare comprised vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights, including laal maas, ker sangria, dhundhaar murgh, malai kofta, khushka, pasta salad, jaafraani rasmalai, orange and blueberry cake.
There was neither any formal discussion nor any exchange of gifts between the two state representatives during the meeting.
Ashraf and his entourage comprising 48 members left for Ajmer in three helicopters soon after the lunch. He arrived at the Ghoogra helipad in Ajmer at around 4.10 pm from where he was driven to the dargah. Following protests by the Shiv Sena, the BJP, the VHP and lawyers, the convoy had to take a detour on way to the dargah and way back to the helipad.
The police had to resort to a lathicharge to rein in protesting lawyers in which two persons sustained minor injuries. Over 34 protesters were detained.
The dewan, spiritual head of the Sufi shrine, Syed Zainul Abedin, boycotted the visit in protest against the killing and mutilation of bodies of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops at the Line of Control.
Ashraf carried his own 'chadar' to offer at the dargah.
In the visitors' book, Ashraf wrote, "Meri aur mere khaandaan ki khushbakhti hai ki humein khwaja ki dargah ke chaukhat ko choomne ka mauka mila. Isey pura karne ke liye Bharat sarkar ko shukriya adaa karta hoon. Main poori duniye ke awaam ke liye aman ki dua karta hoon (I and my family are lucky to have been able to make this holy pilgrimage to the Khwaja's dargah. I thank the Indian government for making this possible. I pray for world peace)."
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