NEW DELHI: Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid will host a lunch in Jaipur for Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf during his one-day private visit on Saturday but there will be no “substantive” discussions, Press Trust of India (PTI) said, quoting the Indian foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday.
“Mr Khurshid will host a lunch for him (PM) at a local hotel in Jaipur following which Pakistan prime minister will depart for Ajmer. Upon completion of prayers at Ajmer, the visiting prime minister will return to Jaipur the same evening and take a special flight back to Islamabad,” PTI quoted the spokesman as saying.
“The Pakistan prime minister is not visiting New Delhi and no substantive discussions are scheduled to be held in Jaipur,” he said.
Asked if a proposal for a meeting in New Delhi was made by India, he said the visiting dignitary had expressed the desire to undertake a private visit and “all requirements to meet his needs are met. In addition we have not received any other request”.
On why Indian government was going out of way to interact with Pakistani leader when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it clear that it cannot be “business as usual” after the beheading of an Indian soldier near LoC, the spokesperson said, there will not be any substantive discussions and that said, he is prime minister of a state with which we have diplomatic relations.
“It is an important country. And in accordance with normal diplomatic protocol we are extending him due courtesies.”
The official spokesperson also said Mr Ashraf would be accompanied by members of his family and they would be arriving in Jaipur on the morning of March 9. —Correspondent