Tight security in place in Delhi, Ajmer for Zardari visit
Ajmer/New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Security will be tight including deployment of special units atop high-rise buildings and along the route that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and his entourage take Sunday during their almost six-hour visit to the national capital and at Ajmer's revered shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
Around 2,000 police personnel will be deployed for Zardari's visit to New Delhi, while the Rajasthan city of Ajmer has already been turned into a fortress for the Pakistani president who along with his son Bilawal and others will offer prayers at the Sufi shrine.
In New Delhi, special units will be deployed atop high-rise buildings and along the 25-km route that Zardari's convoy will take from the airport to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 7, Race Course Road official residence, where he has been invited for lunch.
Zardari arrives in the capital around 11.30 a.m. Sunday and proceeds for the lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after which the two are to hold one-on-one talks.
'Due to security concerns, there will be short stoppage from the airport to the PM's residence during Zardari's visit,' Delhi's joint commissioner of police Satyendra Garg said, adding that there will not be much change in traffic routes.
After his meeting with Manmohan Singh, Zardari will leave for Jaipur and from there take a chopper to the shrine, about 12 km away from Ajmer. He is scheduled to spend about half an hour at the shrine and return to Jaipur by 6.15 p.m., an official said.
The Pakistan president's helicopter is to land in Ajmer at 4.10 p.m., the official said.
'The 12 km stretch between the helipad and the shrine will be dotted with security personnel. To ensure better security, shops in entire Ajmer will remain shut from 12 noon till 5 p.m.,' Ajmer Superintendent of Police Rajesh Meena told IANS.
'All the small roads leading to main dargah road will remain blocked,' he said.
The shrine will also be vacated when the Zardari entourage arrives and during the time when the Pakistani president offers his prayers in the presence of khadims and other members of the shrine board.
Meena said the police are keeping strict vigil on the movement of vehicles coming from outside the district.
'For the past five days we are checking the guest houses and hotels in the city to check for any suspicious movement,' Meena told IANS.
Zardari, who will be the third Pakistani president to visit the tomb of the mystic Sufi saint, will leave the shrine at 5.30 p.m.
Zardari is likely to be accompanied by an over 40-member delegation that will include his son Bilawal, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, senior aides and more than a dozen journalists.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com)
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