Opposing Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's visit has earned the head of Ajmer Dargah, Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, accolade by the pro-Hindutva political parties.
On Monday, Ali was felicitated by Shiv Sena after having been praised by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) for boycotting Ashraf saying that it "reflects thinking of our citizens." MP Sanjay Raut presented the spiritual head of the shrine with a sword and a shawl, reported PTI.
Ali belongs to the lineage of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the Sufi saint for whom the Ajmer Dargah is dedicated.
"We came here on direction by our leader Uddhav to personally thank and honour Diwan sahib for showing courage to oppose the visit of Pakistan's Prime Minister," said Sanjay Raut said. He quickly added the felicitation should not be politicised.
PTI also reported that Shiv Sena head Uddhav Thackeray spoke to Ali over telephone and invited him to Maharashtra. In return, Ali asked him to be his guest in Ajmer.
Ali had boycotted Ashraf's visit to the shrine after the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan Army on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this year. A day ahead of Ashraf's scheduled visit to the dargah Ali said, "As the first person to welcome the heads of countries, I have decided not to ask for an entry pass for the dargah," reported The Hindu.
The spiritual head also said that despite Pakistan being an Islamic country, it does not follow any teachings of Islam. "Islam enjoins upon its followers to live in peace with their neighbours. Pakistani politicians defy the Islamic values and promote terrorism in India and kill innocent people," he said.