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PM wants to visit Pakistan next year

Source: PTI
December 06, 2004 17:05 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wishes to visit Pakistan early next year, Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Shiv Shankar Menon said in Karachi on Monday.

He added that Singh already had an invitation from the government of Pakistan.

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The government was considering offering 100 scholarships to Pakistani students to study in India. The Indian central bank was pondering whether to allow Indian banks to set up branches in Pakistan, he said after meeting business leaders along with deputy high commissioner T C A Raghavan.

Menon met Karchi City Nazim Naimatullah Khan on Sunday and discussed plans to open the Indian consulate to meet the demand for visas for the people of the province.

India is keen to open its consulate in Karachi soon and has begun renovation work on its building. India has also offered few locations for the Pakistan government to open its consulate in Mumbai, Menon said.

The Indian consulate in Karachi was closed after the Babri Masjid riots.

Menon said the decision to open consulates depended on when Pakistan formally extends permission. On its part the Indian government has shown some places for Pakistan to open its consulate in Mumbai.

The consulates remained closed all the years as Pakistan insisted that it wanted Jinnah House in Mumbai.

The Indian government, however, has offered other locations.

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