Pakistani foreign minister cuts short India visit

June 27th, 2008 - 11:43 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has cut short his four-day visit to India and will leave for Lahore later Friday night due to the sudden death of his mother-in-law. The Indian government has arranged an Indian Air Force Embraer executive jet to fly Qureshi and his eight-member delegation to Lahore, official sources told IANS.

Qureshi will go to Multan from Lahore for the last rites of his mother-in-law.

Qureshi arrived here in Friday morning and held talks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, including terrorism, cross-border confidence building measures and the intensification of economic ties.

The two ministers set a positive tone for the launch of the fifth round of the India-Pakistan composite dialogue July 21 and resolved to combat terrorism and address all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.

Qureshi will leave for Lahore after the dinner hosted in his honour by Mukherjee at the Hyderabad House here.

Qureshi also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday evening and underlined Pakistan’s commitment to deepening the peace process with India.

This is Qureshi’s first visit to India since he became Pakistan’s foreign minister around three months ago.

Qureshi was scheduled to call on senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the party’s prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani and former foreign minister Jaswant Singh Saturday.

Qureshi’s itinerary had also included visits to Jaipur, Ajmer and Chandigarh Saturday.

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