Pak PM accepts Manmohan's invite to watch Mohali match
Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today accepted his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh's invitation to watch the World Cup semi-final between the two countries in Mohali on March 30. Jayanth Jacob reports.delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2011 18:43 IST
Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday accepted his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh's invitation to watch the World Cup semi-final between the two countries in Mohali on March 30.
And cricket diplomacy by Prime Minister Singh has occasioned the first major summit-level bilateral event in either of the countries since the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
But summit-level meetings have taken place in third countries in the meanwhile.
The decision was taken following a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Gilani, which began at midnight last night and lasted for about two hours. At the meeting, it was decided that "in response to the Indian Prime Minister's invitation, the Prime Minister of Pakistan will visit India to witness the semi-final (of World Cup) between the two cricket teams," Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
He said that Pakistan had already welcomed Singh's invitation to Zardari and Gilani to watch the match.
The match will come a day after the home secretary-level talks between the two countries on March 28 and 29.
Although cricket matches between the traditional rivals are known for acrimony, this is Singh's second attempt at cricket diplomacy. He had invited former Pakistan president Gen Pervez Musharraf to watch a one-day match in New Delhi in April 2005.