Zardari to visit Bahrain

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 16:58

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will visit Bahrain on Wednesday for talks on the situation in the Arab world, a top official said on Wednesday.

The President shall remain in Bahrain for a few hours, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said without giving further details.

Zardari will hold talks with the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, on bilateral relations and regional and international developments, official sources said.

The President will be accompanied by a delegation including ministers and senior officials.
Bahrain`s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa visited Islamabad in April and reportedly sought Pakistan`s help to resolve the crisis in his
country caused by anti-government protests.

Sheikh Khalid had met Zardari during his visit and delivered an invitation from the King of Bahrain. Following pro-democracy protests in Bahrain in March, rights groups said that the Arab country recruited at least 2,500 former servicemen from Pakistan to bolstering the
strength of its National Guard and riot police by 50 per cent.

Former Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary personnel have for long served in Bahrain`s security forces. The Pakistani troops were at the forefront of efforts to suppress Shia protesters demanding equal rights after years of oppression at the hands of Bahrain`s Sunni minority.

Several Pakistanis were murdered and injured by protestors in Bahrain in attacks in March.
These people were attacked following reports that retired army and police personal were hired by Bahrain to maintain peace during the anti-government campaign.

Pakistan has said it supports stability and prosperity in Bahrain and wants the safety and security of thousands of Pakistani expatriates in that country.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 16:58

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