New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): The private visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to India has generated hopes of better relations between the two countries among the ruling Congress as well as main opposition parties.
They hope that an early way out regarding the bringing to justice the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and other issues would emerge soon.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said the visit by Zardari was a right step to usher positive results in bilateral relations between the two nations.
"President Zardari is satisfied and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has also expressed his satisfaction; we hope this conversation and this meeting, will bring both the countries together. According to our Prime Minister all issues have been discussed including Hafiz Saeed," Alvi told the media.
However, he refused to comment on how effective President Zardari was in Pakistan. It is immaterial to think whether Zardari is in position or not but he is the President of Pakistan and Prime Minister of India has talked to President of Pakistan, whether he is weak or strong, we do not want to comment on it," added Alvi.
On its part, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed Zardari's visit and his candid discussions with the Prime Minister.
"Mr. Zardari came to India on a private trip and offered prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer but this has generated political waves in New Delhi. The Indian Prime Minister must have raised the issue of Hafiz Saeed. But we want that he should be handed over to us as soon as possible. Pakistan can't keep providing shelter to the person behind the Mumbai attacks," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.
"The conspirers of the Mumbai attacks have become a hurdle in the growth of relations of both countries. The trend of visits between the two countries can keep happening but our ties can improve if Saeed is handed over to India. If the Indian Prime Minister visits Pakistan only after this happens, then a better message would be transpired," he added.
Zardari, who prayed at the Sufi shrine in Ajmer along with his 23-year-old son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari amidst tight security, offered a grant of Rs. five crores on behalf of his government for the shrine. Both Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto offered 'chadars' at the dargah.
Zardari also invited the Indian Prime Minister to visit Pakistan, which the latter accepted.
New Delhi had suspended the peace process between the two sides after the commando-style militant attacks in India's commercial capital Mumbai in 2008, by Pakistan-based militants, which caused the death of 166 people.
India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947, have been slowly trying to repair relations and agreed to resume formal peace talks broken off in wake of the Mumbai attack in 2008. (ANI)
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P.T. RangamaniApril 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM