New Delhi: The visit of Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik to India, for operationalisation of liberalised visa agreement between the two countries, has been deferred and he is likely to arrive here on December 14.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday had invited Malik to visit India from December 11 to 13 during which he was scheduled to travel to Agra to spend a day at the Taj Mahal on December 12, which is his birthday.
"I am Grateful to Mr Shinde for his kind gesture to invite me to celebrate my birthday in Agra. Having (sic) unable to go on 12th, now I will go on 14th," Malik wrote in microblogging site Twitter.
The Pakistani leader said he would not be able to visit India between December 11 and 13 as he would be away in Turkey on an official tour. The new proposed dates for his visit to India are December 14 to 16.
Sources said as December 13 is the 11th anniversary of Parliament attack, carried out by Pakistani terrorists, Malik might have chosen to avoid being in India on that day.
Home Ministry sources said details of Malik’s visit are being worked out in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs and Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
Shinde had said that Malik's birthday falls on December 12 and he had expressed his desire to spend the day at the Taj Mahal and the government would facilitate his visit to the historic city.
The new liberalised Indo-Pak visa pact replaces a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and paves the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people-to-people contact and trade.