Cricket diplomacy: Gilani arrives in India with delegations

Yousuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad, Mar 30: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrived in India along with a 45-member delegation on Wednesday, Mar 30 to watch the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final match in Mohali.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and other Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, including Pervaiz Rashid, refused to go with Gilani to watch the match, The News reports.

Pakistan Muslim League-Q chief Shujaat Hussain, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar and Awami National Party's Asfandyar Wali will accompany Gilani to watch the match.

Other politicians who will be the part of PM entourage include Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan 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.

Information Minister Awan had recently said that the government could not take as many people to Mohali as it wanted because of the limited availability of tickets for the match.

She said the keenness to accompany Gilani was such that she, too, would have missed the trip had she not been the Information Minister, and added that while the government was still trying its best to accommodate more people, it all depended on how many guests would be allowed by the Indian authorities.


Please Wait while comments are loading...