ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani Sunday formally accepted Indian premier’s invitation to visit India for watching the semifinal match of World Cup 2011 between teams of the two country.
Gilani would be the first Pakistani democratic leader that would witness cricket contest for a world cup in India.
The decision to accept the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came forth after two hours consultative meeting between Gilani and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, said Spokesman of the President House Farhatullah Babar.
The meeting considered the invitation by the Indian Premier and it was decided that the prime minister would visit Mohali on March 30 to witness the semifinal, Babar added.
The Indian premier and his wife had invited other day Gilani along with his wife to visit India for watching the match.
It is pertinent to mention, sports bring people together throughout the world. In the civilized world, the traditional opponents settled their scores in the field of sports instead of battlefield.
The experiment of cricket diplomacy is not something new between the two countries. In 1987 when war between the two country was looming over the scene the then Pakistani President General (Retd) Ziaul Haq visited Jaipur to watch a cricket match between India and Pakistan. The president not only witnessed the match but also exchanged smiles with Rajeev Gandhi.
Owing to this background, that on invitation of Sing the then President of Pakistan General (Retd) visited Delhi on April 16, 2005 to witness a match between the traditional opponents and the contest was won by Pakistani team.
Next year President Pervez Musharraf invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to come Pakistan and see cricket match but he did not accept it
It is pertinent to mention here that in past both the Presidents which visited India to watch cricket match were military dictators. Now first time in the history the democratic leaders of Pakistan and India would watch the cricket match together
Whatever the result of cricket match maight be but both the leaders should hug each other to reduce tension in the region.