His Majesty King Ali Zahir Shah of Afghanistan received a warm greeting on his arrival in New Delhi.
His Majesty King Ali Zahir Shah of Afghanistan received a warm greeting on his arrival in New Delhi. A colourful band marched at the head of a guard of honour which was inspected by the royal visitor.
Flags of India and Afghanistan fluttered at Delhi's Palam airport while thousands of people with flower garlands waited in cheerful expectation for the royal 'plane to touch down. The King arrived in an Ariana Afghan Airways 'plane and was received by Indian President Rajendra Prasad, Vice President Radhakrishnan and Prime Minister Nehru. Reception over the party posed for the Press and the royal guest was then introduced to Cabinet Ministers.
Then followed the taking of the salute and inspection of the guard of honour, followed introductions to members of the Diplomatic Corps. Little Afghan children presented the King with bouquets, and he was virtually mobbed by crowds of admirers.
President Prasad then welcomed King Zahir from a raised platform before thousands of spectators. In his reply the King expressed the hope that his visit would further develop the friendly relations existing between the two countries.
The airport ceremonies concluded, King Zahir drove off in an open car with president Prasad to the President's house. Thousands cheered them along the way. At the Rashtrapati Bhavan the royal procession was escorted by the mounted bodyguard of the President. After taking the salute the Afghan King inspected another guard of honour at the President's house.
Later during the day King Zahir called on President Prasad for talks. Prime Minister Nehru also paid a courtesy call on the royal guest and stayed for discussion.