SIMLA: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was welcomed by a smiling Mrs Indira Gandhi, as he arrived in a sunbathed Simla here, for the historic summit meeting between the two heads of Governments. In contrast to the heavy monsoon rains of the last 48 hours, the weather was pleasant and sunny today [June 28] at this picturesque hill station… . The Russian-built M-8 helicopter of the Indian Army carrying Mr. Bhutto and some of the members of his 81-man entourage from Chandigarh, landed at 1315 local time … in the middle of a football field which had been converted into a helipad for the occasion.

On alighting, Mr. Bhutto walked towards Mrs Gandhi … and the two warmly shook hands. Three small boys presented President Bhutto with bouquets. Three small girls presented baskets of flowers to Benazir, Mr. Bhutto’s daughter. … President Bhutto is the first Pakistani Head of State to visit India since former President Ayub Khan made a one-hour stopover in New Delhi on Sept 1, 1959, for talks with the late Indian Prime Minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2022

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