Though there was no official word, sources said preparations were under way and the tentative date was March 9. As of now, he is scheduled to visit only Ajmer to offer prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf is likely to visit India this Saturday on a day’s pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif, before stepping down on March 16 ahead of the general election.

Though there was no official word, sources said preparations were under way and the tentative date was March 9. As of now, he is scheduled to visit only Ajmer to offer prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

Last April, when President Asif Ali Zardari decided to embark on a similar pilgrimage, he received an invitation for luncheon from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

This facilitated a delegation-level engagement that gave momentum to the ongoing dialogue process.

The process got stalled in January this year after the cross-Line of Control firing that left three soldiers dead on either side. A scheduled Water Secretary-level meeting on the Wular Barrage issue in Islamabad was indefinitely postponed, and there has been no other engagement under the dialogue framework since.

Should the visit materialise, this would be Mr. Ashraf’s first to India as Prime Minister. He assumed office in June last and hails from the very same Potohar region of Punjab, to which Dr. Singh traces his roots. As per the Constitution, the outgoing Prime Minister is scheduled to step down on March 16 — the day the term of the National Assembly expires — and make way for a caretaker Prime Minister to oversee the election.