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Zardari prays at Ajmer Sharif, donates $ 1m

By Gaurav Sharma, IANS,

Ajmer : After a gap of eight years, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari offered prayers at the revered shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer and announced a donation of $1 million for the dargah.

Accompanied by his son Bilawal, Zardari who had last visited the shrine in 2003, was presented ring studedded with nine gems.

“President Zardari prayed here…He announced a donation of $1 million for the shrine,” Syed Zeeshan Kaptan, the Khadim or caretaker of the dargah, told IANS.

The father-son duo spent around 35 minutes at the shrine, which included a 15-minute prayer at the tomb of Moinuddin Chisti.

Both Zardari and Bilawal offered separate chadars at the shrine which they had brought from Pakistan.

According to Kaptan, the father-son duo spent around 10 minutes at the tomb of the Sufi saint also known as Garib Nawaz, and recited verses from the pocket-sized editions of the holy Quran they were carrying.

Both received gifts from the Khadim.

“Bilwal was very happy when we gifted him the pictute of his mother when she had last come here,” Kaptan said.

The 24-year-old Bilawal Bhutto drew instant comparisons with Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi.

“Bilawal looks like the Pakistani version of Rahul Gandhi… He is a soft spoken person and a thorough gentleman,” Syed Natik Chishti, Khadim at the dargarh who helped Zardari and Bilawal perform their prayers, told IANS.

“We were very impressed by Bilawal…He seems so full of energy and has a kind and clean heart…He is just like Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

Chishti said Bilawal held his hand and asked him to pray for harmonious relations between India and Pakistan.