Manmohan invites Zardari, Gilani for India-Pakistan match (Lead)

March 25th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) In a major diplomatic move, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday invited Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final at Mohali March 30, officials said.

In letters sent to both the leaders, Manmohan Singh said: “It gives me great pleasure to invite you to visit Mohali (in Punjab) and join me and millions of fans from our two countries to watch the match.”

Manmohan Singh said he and his wife Gursharan Kaur will also be at the match venue.

“I propose to be at Mohali to watch the World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan… There is huge excitement over the match and we are all looking forward to a great game of cricket, that will be a victory for sport,” the letter said.

Billed as the game of the 2011 World Cup, bitter rivals India and Pakistan will fight March 30 for a place in the final. Both countries have not played each other since the Mumbai terror attack of 2008.

The prime minister has invited Gilani’s wife too.

“It gives me great pleasure to invite you and your gracious wife to visit Mohali and join me, my wife and the millions of fans from our two countries to watch the match,” the letter to the Pakistani prime minister says.

Diplomatic circles view the invitation as a major step by India to resume the dialogue and peace process between the two countries.

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