Work and play on Yousuf Raza Gilani's agenda
Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's Mohali visit is being described as an informal one, with no structure for dialogue, protocol-dictated timing or specific expectations. Jayanth Jacob reports.chandigarh Updated: Mar 30, 2011 11:22 IST
Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's Mohali visit is being described as an informal one, with no structure for dialogue, protocol-dictated timing or specific expectations.
But with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh receiving Gilani here at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium on Wednesday, the closest and the longest top-level interaction between the two countries since the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks will begin.
It is expected that the two prime ministers may discuss bilateral issues as they watch the match. Or, they may move into a separate place.
"It is up to them. We have no agenda and no structure in mind. Obviously, they will talk beyond weather and cricket," said an Indian official.
It's not yet decided whether both or any one of them will attend the post-match presentation ceremony.
The dinner Singh's wife, Gursharan Kaur, is hosting is expected to begin at 7.30pm at the Taj hotel.
Gilani will travel with his interior minister Rahman Malik, defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, information minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, sports minister Engineer Shaukatullah, postal services minister Muhammad Gorgage, religious affairs minister Khurshid Shah and minister
of state for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. Besides, 10 Pakistan parliament members will accompany him.
And from the Indian Parliament, UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi will witness the occasion.
Singh will be accompanied by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, among others.