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Musharraf calls out to Manmohan

Pak Prez says he will invite Indian PM to watch one of the India-Pak matches.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2006 18:46 IST

President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said he would invite Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to watch one of the India-Pak cricket matches in order to take forward the peace process between the two countries.

"Let me say I would like to invite him (Manmohan) to Pakistan to watch any part of the series," the General said.

He said it was due on the Indian Premier to make a visit to Pakistan.

"He is supposed to visit us. He said so in New York (last year when they met in September at the UN) and he has not come as yet," he told Karan Thapar in an interview to be telecast on Sunday on a private news channel.

In the same breath, Gen Musharraf said any such visit should be productive and take the peace process forward.

"I do not mind inviting him at all. I want the peace process to move forward. If he comes here and we do nothing about the peace process, I am afraid we are wasting our time."

Musharraf's comments follow remarks by Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam that Pakistan would invite Singh if he wished to watch one of the matches.

"On its part Islamabad would welcome a visit by Singh...If the Prime Minister wishes to come, an invitation will be extended," she had said two days ago.

India are scheduled to play three Test matches, the first of which begins on January 13, followed by five one-day matches starting on February 6.

As the invitation followed, he converted the visit into a major political tour with the issuance of a joint statement listing various CBMS, including reopening of Consulate in Karachi, starting the Munabao-Khokhrapar train service as well as bus services between Lahore and Amritsar and Poonch and Rawalkot.

He watched the one-dayer between the two countries played in New Delhi along with the Indian Prime Minister.

First Published: Jan 07, 2006 17:43 IST