'Cricket diplomacy good for ties' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Cricket diplomacy good for ties'

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2011 23:48 IST
HT Correspondent

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani's visit will be the first summit-level bilateral event for the two countries since the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

But summit-level meetings have taken place in third countries since then.

The visit will follow resumption of the India-Pakistan dialogue process with the home secretaries of both countries slated to hold talks for two days in New Delhi from Monday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been emphasising that bilateral engagements with Pakistan are the best way to address all issues between the two sides, and even to get Pakistan take more concrete action on the 26/11 case.

"When they met in Thimphu last year, both Prime Ministers wanted the post-Mumbai trust deficit between to be addressed. Subsequently, both sides have decided to begin the dialogue process," an official pointed out.

"It is a very good move. The Prime Minister has the intention to improve ties between the two countries," said former foreign secretary Salman Haidar.

"This meeting happens along with resumption of the dialogue process, which is significant," said Haidar.

Government sources said that though the PM had invited Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Gilani, as he should have, it would be unusual for both of the president and prime minister of a country to travel together.

Asked to comment on Zardari not attending the match, a source said, "We don't read between the lines on who is coming."