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Zardari may be gifted flowers instead of sword

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.


Seeking blessings: Asif Ali Zardari’s wife late Benazir Bhutto had also visited the shrine. File pic

The administrative committee of the shrine held discussions on the issue but a final decision was yet to be taken. Zardari will offer prayers at the shrine on 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,” said a committee officer who did not want to be named.

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. 

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