'Khwaja welcomes you,' Khurshid greets Pak PM Ashraf at Ajmer

Raja Pervez Ashraf, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, arrived in Jaipur this morning on a one-day private visit, mainly to offer prayers at the 13th century dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti in nearby Ajmer.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid along with Rajasthan officials received the Pakistan Prime Minister and his 40-member delegation, with some family members, at Sanganer Airport in Jaipur.

"Khwaja wants him to come," Khurshid said effusively while welcoming the visiting leader. They went on to lunch at the Rambagh Palace Hotel in the city. There were protests outside the hotel over Ashraf's visit over the beheading of two Indian soldiers in January this year; but the security bandobast was heavy.

Substantial discussions are not on the cards, as a foreign ministry spokesman has already clarified that it is a purely private visit.

After the luncheon, three helicopters flew the Pakistani Prime Minister's entourage to Ajmer.

Ashraf's visit comes despite strong opposition from the dargah dewan or head of the shrine, Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, who has said he will boycott the Pakistan PM's visit in view of the headline-making beheading and mutilation of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir on 13 January.