Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's vision for India-Pakistan relationship was on full display at the dinner he had hosted for his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani. At the dinner, Gilani sat next to Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, and defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar sat on either sides of Prime Minister Singh.
And what was on offer was reflective of what Manmohan Singh had said famously in 2007 about his vision of India-Pakistan ties, when he had said "political borders are no longer economic and social barriers".
Looking for a lasting solution with Pakistan, the PM, while retaining respective national identities, envisaged a day when "one can have breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul."
Lahore, Amritsar cuisine and the dinner menu mostly had signature dishes from both Lahore and Amritsar. The platter included gosht barra, tawa machhi, tandoor salmon, chops biriyani. The vegetarian section include idilis, subzi biriyani, bhindi naintara. And the desserts include gulukand ka kalakand as well as kesari phirni.
The dinner was hosted at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium where the India-Pakistan match was on. The dinner spread was in two categories.
One for the VVIP section comprising 30 people, the other VIP section of 300 people. Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur hosted the dinner for the wives of the diplomats accompanying both the delegations. The strict security drill that guests will have to follow before food is served includes a micro biology test. The two leaders met over an early dinner around 7.30 pm.