Pakistan PM to visit India today, Ajmer Sharif Dargah chief to boycott

12:39 PM, Saturday, March 9th, 2013
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Raja Pervez Ashraf Ajmer : The Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah today has triggered a controversy, with the spiritual head of the sufi shrine refusing to assist in prayers.
Zainul Abedin, the Dewan of the shrine, said he is boycotting the visit  of Prime Minister Raja Prevez Ashraf  because in January, Pakistani troops mutilated the bodies of two Indian soldiers near Jammu.

“The incident hurt Indians but their (Pakistan) government is not understanding our sentiments so I took the decision,” Zainul Abedin told reporters.

One of the soldiers was found with his head missing. Pakistan has denied that its troops attacked the men or mangled their bodies. Violations of a ceasefire through January, which killed three soldiers from each side have strained the fragile dialogue to rebuild trust and confidence between the two countries.

The Dewan’s boycott will be largely symbolic and will not impact the PM’s visit. That’s because he is largely a ceremonial head. Pilgrims are assisted at the dargah by the Khadims, who control the shrine.



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