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Sufi shrine's priest all set to perform prayers for Pak President Zardari

Ajmer , Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

Ajmer, Apr 8 (ANI): With Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visiting Ajmer today to pay obeisance at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, one of the priests at the shrine of revered Sufi saint, Syed Iqbal Kaptan, has said that he was all set to perform prayers for the visiting dignitary during his visit to the mystic tomb.

Zardari had earlier visited the shrine in 2005, with his wife, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto, who was assassinated on December 27, 2007, was a firm believer of Chishti.

A visibly excited Kaptan, who had also lent his services to Bhutto during her visits to the shrine, said he would assist Zardari in performing the rituals and prayers at the Chishti's mausoleum.

"It will be a very good atmosphere. He (President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari) will be coming here, we will offer prayers for him and his kith and kin. We will also pray for harmonious, peaceful and friendly relations between India and Pakistan," said Kaptan.

Kaptan further revealed details of the various rituals Zardari would be performing at the shrine.

"We will receive him, and escort him to the shrine. We will help him hold a special cloth over his head that would be later offered at the Chishti's grave. Then, he will offer flowers and the special cloth at the shrine. We will guide him with the rituals and also offer prayers for him. Later, special offering will be offered to Mr. Zardari. He will then write in our visiting book, about what he felt at the shrine," he said.

Kaptan also recalled his meeting with Bhutto, and said she had returned to pray before Chishti's grave after her wish was granted by the 'protector of the poor'-a title accorded to the revered mystic by millions of his followers.

"Benazir Bhutto had visited the shrine in 2003. She had wished for the release of her husband, Asif Ali Zardari and had promised to bring him along if her wish was granted. Soon after her husband's release from prison, she returned with him to the shrine in 2005," said Kaptan.

"She laid the special cloth at the saint's grave with a lot of spiritual fervour and also offered prayers. She also prayed for peace and harmony between India and Pakistan," he added.

Zardari will be meeting Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his three-hour stopover in Delhi. It will be Zardari's first visit to India as Pakistan's President, and will provide a chance to promote bilateral ties between both sides.

India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947, have been slowly trying to repair relations and agreed to resume formal peace talks broken off in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. (ANI)

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