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Pakistani President To Take Private Trip To India

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (right) shakes hands with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of a summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia in June 2009.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (right) shakes hands with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of a summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia in June 2009.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to visit India on April 8, the first visit by the Pakistani head of state in seven years.

Zardari is expected to have lunch with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before heading to a famous Muslim shrine in Rajasthan to offer prayers.

Relations between the two South Asian countries have long been tense, with three wars having been fought since independence from Britain in 1947.

Zardari's visit comes as the United States offered a $10 million bounty for Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e Taiba, which India blames for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Zardari and Singh will use the occasion to further ties after recent breakthroughs in trade.

With reporting by AFP and dpa
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