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Manmohan to visit Pakistan?


Islamabad/New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accepted an invitation from his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and would be visiting there at “mutually convenient” dates, according to the foreign office of that country.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar “handed over a letter of invitation from Prime Minister Gilani to Manmohan Singh (who) accepted the invitation and said that he would visit Pakistan at mutually convenient dates”, said a press statement from her office.

Officials here confirmed that Manmohan Singh had received the invitation but the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office are tight lipped if the trip was being indeed planned.

“The invitation has been extended. That is it. Cannot say more,” an official, who did not wish to be identified, told IANS.

Khar was on a three-day visit to India during which she held talks with her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna and also called on Manmohan Singh.

The prime minister was was born in Gah, a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province. His parents migrated to India before the 1947 partition when they came to Amritsar.

If finalised, this would be Manmohan Singh’s first trip to Pakistan since then.

However, this is not the first time time Gilani has invited his Indian counterpart for the trip. The Pakistani prime minister had invited Manmohan Singh when he visited India in March to watch the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semifinal at Mohali.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had then said that the government was working out the details of the visit.