ADDU - Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has invited his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan and reinforced this with an emotional appeal, requesting him to visit his birthplace in an area which is now in Pakistan. “Pakistan’s prime minister was very keen that the Indian prime minister should visit Pakistan,” Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters. It will be an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations as well as an opportunity to visit his ancestral place, Gilani told Manmohan Singh, according to Mathai.
The dates would be decided by mutual consultations. Manmohan Singh was born in Gah, a village which is now located in Pakistani Punjab. If Manmohan Singh does visit Pakistan, it will be the first prime ministerial visit from India to that country since 2004 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee went there for the SAARC summit and held bilateral talks that led to the resumption of the dialogue process between the two countries. Gilani said he respected Singh’s comments, who described him as a “Man of Peace”, following his talks on the sidelines of the SAARC summit. “I respect his sentiments,” Gilani told reporters when asked to comment about the remarks. “We all are working for peace. He really wants better relations with the neighbours,” Gilani said. Manmohan Singh has said his government had decided to sign preferential trade agreement with Pakistan.
The meeting of trade ministers of Pakistan and India will be held in New Delhi on the 14th of this month. The Indian PM also said a visa-free system would be implemented soon to replace the current system. Indian media has called the measure in response to according India the Most Preferred Nation status by Pakistan for trade. According to the Indian media, PM Singh said the people of the two countries were closely related and that the era of accusations and counteraccusations should now end.