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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar gets red carpet welcome in Pak

November 10, 2012 10:55 IST
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was accorded a red carpet welcome in Pakistan's Karachi as he arrived the country's financial capital on Friday on a week-long visit, hoping to augment contacts and cooperation between the two neighbours.

Kumar was received at the airport by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and senior members of the provincial cabinet and other high-profile personalities from the business and trade community.

The Bihar CM, who is leading a high-level delegation, will also visit the Mohenjodaro remains and the Sadho Belo Temple in interior Sindh during his week-long visit.

On Saturday, he will pay a visit the mausoleum of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah before attending a seminar on 'Sharing of Experiences'.

Kumar told the media at the airport that he hoped his visit would further improve ties between India and Pakistan. "I believe that increased contact between the provinces of both countries will help increase cooperation and brotherhood between the people and governments,"
Kumar said.

"I have come here with a message of love for the Pakistani people as both countries want to have peace, stability and progress in the region," he said.

To a question posed by a reporter, Kumar said in a light-hearted manner that a person only invites someone to his home for whom he has love in his heart. "... And a person only goes to that place or house for whom he has love in his heart," he added.

The Bihar CM had received praise for his good governance from Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan, who recently attended the World Economic Forum in Gurgaon.

High-profile security arrangements were put in place for Kumar and his delegation, with his motorcade guided by para-military rangers and elite police commandos. Kumar will return to India via the Wagah border.

In 2003, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad had also visited Pakistan and his trademark humour made him hugely popular.

A Pakistani delegation, which had visited Bihar in August, had extended an invitation to  Kumar on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Mohammad Shahwaz Sharif.

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