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Bansal to be minister-in-waiting for Zardari

Delhi,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Politics, Sat, 07 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) The government Saturday designated Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal as minister-in-waiting for the visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday.


Official sources said Bansal will receive Zardari at the airport when he arrives in the capital.


Bansal will also accompany Zardari to the Ajmer shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.


Official sources said Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will not be part of Zardari's entourage though there was speculation earlier that she would come to India. They said discussions were primarily between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Pakistan president.


In the first presidential visit from Pakistan in the last seven years, Zardari, accompanied by an over 40-member delegation, will come to New Delhi Sunday morning.


After touching down in Delhi at 11.30 a.m. Sunday, Zardari would head straight to the prime minister's official residence at 7 Race Course Road for the one-on-one talks, followed by lunch with senior members of the delegation.


He would later fly to Ajmer to offer prayers at the revered shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.


Zardari will be accompanied by his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, close members of the family and officials from the president's office.


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