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Pakistan premier to make first visit to India

NEW DELHI, March 5 (BSS/AFP) - Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will visit India for the first time this week for a day-long pilgrimage to an Islamic shrine, a senior government official said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"Pakistan's prime minister will be in India on Saturday.
This is a private visit and he will be accompanied by his family
and other officials," the official said on condition of

"He is not expected to meet any Indian political leaders.
This is clearly a religious and spiritual trip," he told AFP.

Ashraf and his family are expected to pray at the shrine of
Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz in Ajmer Sharif, some 400
kilometres (250 miles) west of New Delhi.

It will be the most senior visit from a Pakistani official
to India since last April when President Asif Ali Zardari
embarked on a similar pilgrimage and then had a lunch meeting
with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours came under
fresh strain in January when a total of six soldiers were killed
in exchanges along the de facto border in Kashmir, a region
claimed by both countries.

The situation has calmed since a ceasefire was agreed
between the two armies at the end of January.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over