Hina Rabbani Khar visits Ajmer, Nizamuddin Dargahs - India Visit 2011 Coverage

5:06 AM |

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar literally criss-crossed the city keeping an eye not only on the high-level official engagements but even found time for personal visits - whether her brief stopover with only her PSO at an acquaintance's residence at Jorbagh on Tuesday just after her arrival in New Delhi or at the Nizamuddin dargah on Thursday morning just before she flew to Ajmer on her way to Islamabad.

Cops said there were Z+ security for the minister, but the "requirements kept changing depending on the places she visited".

Among the places she visited were the Prime Minister's residence, UPA chairwoman Sonia Gandhi's residence and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani's residence. The cops said Hina wanted to keep Thursday absolutely 'free' for her time at the dargah.

Khar arrived at the Nizamuddin dargah at 10am on Thursday. Accompanied by foreign secretary Salman Bashir and other Pakistan delegates, she spent approximately 30 minutes in the dargah complex and prayed for peace between India and Pakistan.

Khar first approached the dargarh of noted urdu poet Amir Khusrau and paid obeisance at the main gate of the rauza (shrine) and spent 5 to 7 minutes there. From there, the minister then went to the main dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin aulia where she spent up to 15 minutes praying quietly at the main entrance. Women are not allowed inside the chambers. Khar followed a common tradition of first visiting the shrine of the disciple (Khusrau) and then that of the teacher (Nizamuddin Auliya). She laid chaddars at both places and was presented with a ghilaf (chaddar) when she was done with her prayers.

"The minister was initially supposed to visit the dargah on Wednesday night but could not make it. We were then informed of her visit on Thursday morning. The chaddars she offered at the Nizamuddin Aulia dargah and darbar of Amir Khusrau were provided at the dargah itself," said Farid Ahmed Nizami, naib sajjadanashin at the dargah.

Khar did not interact much and kept mostly to herself. The popular Thursday qawwali was playing in the backdrop as she offered her prayers at the shrine. Though visitor movement was not stopped during the minister's visit, tight security led to a lesser crowd. Khar came to the dargah via Nizamuddin baoli, the route commonly used by VIPs during a dargah visit.

Pakistani delegates visiting the dargah of the famous sufi saint is not something new. The last high profile Pakistani delegate to visit the dargah was Pervez Musharraf in 2010. Peerzadas at the dargah pointed out a list of prominent VVIPs who had come to offer prayers at the dargah in the past, including late Benzair Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan and members of the Gandhi family, including late Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.

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