Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday officially invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Islamabad. But the two countries have already been trying to finalise dates for the visit of Dr Singh, a report said.
The Indian PM had earlier received an invitation by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani last year, during a Cricket World Cup semi-final match between the two sides in Mohali.
“That invitation is still pending,” a newspaper quoted a Pakistani Foreign Office official as saying.
On the condition of anonymity, the official further said: “We believe that the Indian Prime Minister should reciprocate the gesture by undertaking a visit to Pakistan... We are in touch with each other through diplomatic channels to finalise the dates.”
However, he added that India was reluctant to commit to the visit. Notably, India wants ‘meaningful progress’ on key issues, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks before Dr Singh’s visit to Pakistan.
On the other hand, Pakistan has dismissed the Indian stance, saying it would be a setback to the gradual normalisation between the neighbours.
First Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 16:56