Pakistan’s Zardari to Visit India

Posted April 2nd, 2012 at 3:25 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari will travel to India next week and meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The April 8 meeting will be the first visit by a Pakistani head of state to India since 2005.

Mr. Zardari will have lunch with Mr. Singh in New Delhi. The Pakistani leader is also expected to go to a shrine of a revered Sufi saint in the Indian city of Ajmer during the one-day visit.

Pakistan said earlier this year it plans to normalize trade with its longtime rival India by the end of the year.

Last November, Pakistan's Cabinet approved a proposal granting India “Most Favored Nation” trade status. The designation removes tariffs and allows the countries to trade on equal terms.

Annual trade between the neighbors is estimated at some $2 billion. Economists say that lifting the barriers could increase cross-border trade to more than $6 billion.

A lasting peace between the two nuclear-armed nations is vital to South Asian stability.

Relations between Pakistan and India have long been tense. The two countries have fought three wars since independence from British India in 1947.