Mumbai, Apr 5: Ahead of Asif Ali Zardari's pilgrimage to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today took a dig at the Pakistan President, wondering how could the prayers of those who have an "evil eye" on India be answered.
Thackeray sought to remind Zardari, who is at the centre of a tense stand-off between the government and the judiciary over corruption charges, that his predecessor General Parvez lost power after a visit to the Sufi shrine. "The place of worship is situated in India. How will prayers of those who have an evil eye on our country be answered," Thackeray said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Thackeray said the purpose of Zardari's visit was not to improve relations between the two countries or to take steps to stop "Pakistan-sponsored" terrorism on Indian soil. "Zardari is facing corruption charges and prospects of imprisonment after he is forced to step down from office. There is severe anti-Zardari sentiment among the people of Pakistan.
"The last Pakistani leader to visit Ajmer Sharif was General Musharraf. After his visit, he lost power and had to leave his country," Thackeray said and advised him to think twice before setting foot in Delhi.
Zardari is arriving in New Delhi on Sunday on a "private visit" during which he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch and pay obeisance at the shrine of the Khwaja, one of the most venerated in the country.