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Zardari may be gifted flowers instead of sword at Ajmer

Ajmer, April 4 - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari may be gifted flowers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti instead of the sword that is customarily presented to visiting heads of state or government, sources said Wednesday.

The administrative committee of the shrine held discussions on the issue Tuesday and Wednesday but a final decision was yet to be taken.

Zardari will offer prayers at the shrine April 8.

'Any state head visiting the shrine is gifted a sword by the committee. This time during the visit of Zardari, we want to make an exception,' a committee officer who did not want to be named told IANS.

He added that the change was being mulled keeping in view the atmosphere of friendship between the two countries. 'The flowers will represent the feelings of brotherhood and friendship among the people of both the countries,' he said.

Zardari will be the fourth Pakistani head of state or government to visit the shrine in the past one decade.

His wife Benazir Bhutto and former presidents Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf also visited the shrine, which attracts tens of thousands every day.

The 12th century shrine has attracted pilgrims from the US, Africa, Europe, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar and Afghanistan besides India.

The remains of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti lie buried at the shrine. Every year, on the death anniversary (Urs) of the Sufi saint, held on the first six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar), millions pour into the shrine.



-IANS


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