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Indian personnel to protect Vajpayee in Pakistan

December 22, 2003 19:05 IST

Pakistan has permitted India to bring its own commandoes to provide security to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his four-day visit to attend the SAARC summit beginning in Islamabad on January 4.

"Pakistan has agreed to the Indian request for bringing in a convoy of security vehicles fitted with high intensity jammers and other sophisticated detection equipment as also a large number of Indian commandoes" to provide security to Vajpayee and the Indian delegation, official sources said in Islamabad.

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External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha will arrive in Islamabad on January 1 to take part in the ministerial conference while Vajpayee would arrive on January 3 and stay till January 6.

Pakistan, which has beefed up security in the capital in the wake of last week's attempt on the life of President Gen Pervez Musharraf, was expected to provide security for dignitaries of other countries, including Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khalida Zia.

All the events pertaining to the summit, including the 'retreat' session, would be held in Islamabad. The 'retreat session' is normally held in an exotic location on the second day of the summit to enable the leaders to interact on a more personal basis. This year it would be held at Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan's palatial residence in Islamabad.

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