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Pakistans top leaders were to have attended a state dinner at the luxury Islamabad hotel devastated in a suicide bomb attack on Saturday but changed venue at the last minute, it emerged today.
Rehman Malik, who heads the Interior Ministry, said that both President Zardari and Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister, were expected at the Marriott hotel to mark Mr Zardaris inaugural presidential address to Parliament.
``The national assembly speaker had arranged a dinner for the entire leadership -- for the president, prime minister and armed services chiefs -- at the Marriott that day,'' Malik told reporters today in Islamabad, the capital. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered the dinner moved to the prime minister's residence, ``thus the whole leadership was saved,'' Malik said.