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Musharraf leaves for India

April 16, 2005 14:22 IST
Last Updated: April 16, 2005 15:56 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf left Islamabad on Saturday afternoon on a three-day visit to India accompanied by a high-level delegation.

Complete Coverage: Cricket and Kashmir -- Musharraf in India

Musharraf was seen off at the airport by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and top defence officials. India's Deputy High Commissioner T C A Raghavan was also present at the airport.

Musharraf, who is also accompanied by his wife Sehba, flew to Jaipur from where they will board a helicopter to go to Ajmer to offer prayers at the dargah of famous Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.

He is scheduled to arrive in Delhi later in the evening from Jaipur.

Before emplaning for Jaipur, Musharraf said: "I think it is very much a historic visit. It has chances for optimism because the environment, when you compare Agra with today, is very different. "It is a congenial and friendly environment and the desire from both sides is to make it a success," he told reporters at the Chaklala military airbase.

When asked at what point would he want the Kashmiri leaders involved in the Indo-Pak talks, Musharraf said: "When [they] should be made part of the peace process, as far as I am concerned, earlier the better," he said.

About his meeting with All Parties Hurriyat Conference leaders, he said he would try to bring harmony between the divided separatists groups in Kashmir.

"I will be meeting the APHC leaders. I am confident it will result in a lot of harmony. It is extremely important that I meet them because we have to decide on their future, therefore their involvement is extremely important," Musharraf said.                   


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