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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 13:58 GMT
Musharraf mother meets Indian PM
Zarin Musharraf cuts a cake in Delhi, where the president spent his childhood
President Musharraf's family has been warmly welcomed
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has hosted a lunch for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's mother at his residence in Delhi, officials say.

Zarin Musharraf was accompanied by the president's son and brother for the meal, a spokesman for Mr Singh said.

"It was a private lunch," the spokesman said, without giving any details.

Correspondents say that the week-long private visit by the Musharrafs reflects improving ties between the two countries, who have fought three wars.

'Got along fabulously'

The Musharraf family is originally from India and, like millions of other Indian Muslims, fled India in 1947 to Pakistan when the subcontinent was divided after British colonial rule ended.

Unencumbered by the baggage of history... the two young men got along fabulously
Times of India source

Manmohan Singh travelled in the opposite direction at the time of partition - to India from the village of Gah, which is now in Pakistan's Punjab Province.

Zarin Musharraf, President Musharraf's son, Bilal, and his elder brother, Javed, have met numerous officials and politicians since they arrived in India last week.

Bilal invited Rahul Gandhi to Pakistan after they met and enjoyed each other's company at the weekend, the Times of India newspaper reports.

Rahul is the son of Sonia Gandhi, leader of India's governing Congress party.

"Unencumbered by the baggage of history and keen to know about the changing situation in each other's country, the two young men got along fabulously," an unidentified source told the newspaper.

Rahul and his sister, Priyanka, visited the Pakistani city of Karachi last year to watch India's cricket team take on Pakistan in a one-day international.

President Musharraf is due to travel to India to watch the current cricket series.



SEE ALSO:
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16 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Test unites India and Pakistan
08 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Landmark cricket tour prompts contact
08 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Cricket among the lamas
03 Mar 05 |  South Asia
A passage to India and Pakistan
16 Feb 05 |  South Asia


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