Saturday, July 30, 2011

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Pakistan foreign minister prays at Indian shrine

  • Saturday, July 30, 2011
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • INDIA: Pakistan’s foreign minister visited a revered shrine in India on Thursday where she reportedly prayed to further improve ties in nuclear-armed South Asia. The 34-year-old Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s first female and youngest top diplomat, spent 25 minutes at the mosque in the town of Ajmer in India’s Rajasthan state.

    “I prayed for peace and harmony between India and Pakistan,” local media reported Khar as saying after leaving the shrine in Ajmer, some 230 kilometres (140 miles) from Jodhpur, also in Rajasthan.

    “I came to try and strengthen relations between India and Pakistan and there is a need for more efforts to reinforce these ties,” Khar said, a day after she held peace talks in New Delhi.

    Khar and her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna on Wednesday insisted that vexed relations between the countries were back on track that underlined a “new era” of cooperation.

    It was the first meeting of the rivals’ foreign ministers for a year, and followed the formal resumption in February of the comprehensive peace dialogue suspended by India after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them over Kashmir, which remains a hurdle in any future peace deal.

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