Buoyed by his cricket diplomacy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India and Pakistan should put their "ancient animosities" behind them and work for a "permanent reconciliation" and "cooperative solutions" to their problems.
Speaking at a dinner he hosted for his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani last night on the margins of India-Pakistan World Cup cricket semi final match here, Singh said the two neighbouring countries "should be working together to find cooperative solutions and need permanent reconciliation to live together in dignity and honour".
"We should put our ancient animosities behind us to attend to the problems of our nations," he said.
Singh later said that "the beautiful game of cricket" has been a "uniting factor" in bringing together the two prime ministers.
"Cricket", the Prime Minister told a TV channel, "has been a uniting factor. It has brought our two PMs together and I daresay that’s a very good beginning".
Singh said that "whatever be the differences between our two countries, we have to find ways to resolve them".
"Gilani-sahab and I have had extensive discussions on all outstanding issues and we have reaffirmed our resolve that there are difficulties in the way but we will make every honest effort to overcome those difficulties.
"And the message from Mohali is that the people of India and Pakistan want to live in peace and amity and that the two PMs have committed their governments to work in that direction," he said.
Singh said he was "very grateful" to Gilani for "having accepted my invitation to join me in watching this beautiful game of cricket".
Gilani on his part termed his talks with Singh as "positive" and said they discussed all the core issues between the two countries.
"Talks were positive. We discussed all the core issues between the two countries," Gilani told the Pakistan media in a brief chat after his dinner meeting.