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Much ado about spiritualism

April 09, 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari waves after offering prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan April 8, 2012.
President Asif Ali Zardari waves after offering prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.—Reuters Photo

President Asif Ali Zardari’s much anticipated visit to India has been analysed by political commentators across the globe. Though his trip was founded more on the grounds of spirituality, however, president’s luncheon with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is considered a step towards bilateral talk and congenial ties within both the nations.

According to a news report published in The Economic Times, Indian and Pakistani analysts remain hopeful that the talks between the two national heads will result in more concrete ties. Easing of visa and bilateral trade should be at the top of the agenda outlined by both the leaders.

Pakistan's former foreign secretary Shaharyar M Khan cited the importance of military talks and resolution of problems pertaining to Kashmir, stating that the aforementioned issues hold integral importance.

Another report published in, which entails an extensive analysis of various US news agencies, states that Zardari’s trip is heavy on symbolism if not on substance.

The US media further stated that Zardari’s pilgrimage to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer sent a message against extremists who are working to disrupt the peace efforts in the sub-continent.

Washington Post, New York Times and other US newspapers cites the significance of President Zardari’s invitation to Prime Minister Singh to visit Pakistan.

China has also hailed the meeting and stated that good governance and congenial relations between India and Pakistan are indispensable for the progress of the region.

Although, the nature of the talks between President Zardari and PM Singh has not yet been completely revealed but it is being said that President Zardari spoke about Sir Creek, Siachen and Kashmir issue whereas PM Singh demanded Pakistan to take immediate action against the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.

According to the Indian media, both the national leaders have mourned over the fate of dozens of Pakistani soldiers that are still trapped under the rubble of snow in Siachen.

As per the news report published in The Economic Times, President Zardari has also taken this trip as an opportunity to highlight the importance of resolving dispute at Siachen.

Hours after President Zardari returned from his religious trip, PM Gilani said that he is aware of the fact that Hafiz Saeed is considered a bone of contention between India and Pakistan however, Pakistani government needs substantial evidence to prosecute Saeed.

Moreover, the Indian media has showered praises on Bilawal Zardari and has called him “a Pakistani version of Rahul Gandhi”. According to a news report published in The Hindustan Times, Syed Natik Chishti, khadim at the dargarh, called Zardari junior a “thorough gentleman.”