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Heavy security to be in place for Zardari's Ajmer visit

April 03, 2012 15:55 IST

A thick security blanket involving hundreds of policemen besides snipers and commandos would be put in place for the visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in Ajmer on April 8.

"We are still calculating the number of personnel required. All the required security arrangements would be done," Ajmer SP Rajesh Meena told PTI.

Asked about specific details, he said both snipers and commandos besides policemen in plain clothes would be deployed.

During President Pratibha Patil's visit to Ajmer Sharif last year, over a thousand security personnel were deployed.

Policemen were also roped in from nearby districts and the entire route from the helipad to the shrine was heavily fortified.

Zardari is visiting the famous Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti to pay his obeisance.

Dargah officials are also looking forward to his visit.

"He is coming to our house. We will receive him with love and respect," Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, the great-grandson of the Khwaja Saheb of Ajmer Sharif said.

Talking about the high-profile visit of Zardari to the 13th Century shrine, Khan, who is also known as the Sajjadanashin of the dargah, said the Pakistani President would be received by him, dargah committee and Khadim sahib.

He said Zardari is likely to be gifted a set of books and a sword as per tradition.

Asked at what time Zardari is expected to visit the shrine, famous among both Muslims and Hindus who come to pray for their wishes, Khan said the district administration has not informed them officially.

Khan said local administration is yet to call for a meeting to fine tune the arrangements. He also said that two hours prior to Zardari's visit the shrine would be cleared of common devotees.

Zardari is expected to be inside the dargah for about half an hour.

He will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi over lunch on April 8 before making a private visit to the famous shrine.

This will be the first visit to India by a Pakistani head of state since 2005, when then President Pervez Musharraf had travelled to New Delhi.

Zardari and Singh had last met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Russia in 2009.

Though the visit was supposed to be devoid of political or diplomatic content, the officials had not ruled out the possibility of some official meetings as a Pakistani head of state would be visiting India after a long gap.

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