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Cricket invite shows Pak, India can play as well as talk on important issues: Gilani

March 29, 2011 - Islamabad

Taking the Pakistan cabinet into confidence over his visit to India to watch the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final clash on the invitation of his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has told the ministers that he took the decision to avail this opportunity in the larger interests of the country.

"It is also a timely opportunity for the two governments to show the world that the two nations can play together as well as sit and deliberate together on issues of national importance," The News quoted Gilani, as saying in his opening remarks at the cabinet meeting.

The prime minister also thanked his Indian counterpart for extending the invitation to watch the semi-final cricket match.

Dr. Singh had extended the invitation to both Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Gilani simultaneously- something extraordinary since the invitation had to be extended to only one dignitary.

According to Presidential House spokesman Farhatullah Babar, Gilani held a two-hour meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on March 26, during which it was decided that Gilani would go to India to watch the 'high voltage' encounter between the neighbouring countries.

The match will come a day after the Home Secretary-level talks between the two countries on March 28-29.

India and Pakistan have not played in any bilateral series since the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. The Pakistan cricketers have also not played in the Indian Premier League since its first edition in early 2008.


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