Gilani arrives in India to watch Indo-Pak match

Updated - November 17, 2021 03:55 am IST

Published - March 30, 2011 12:43 pm IST - Chandigarh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu, Bhutan, in April 2010.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu, Bhutan, in April 2010.

Expressing happiness at the resumption of dialogue, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrived here for witnessing the high octane cricket World Cup Indo-Pak semi-final encounter and for talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.

Mr. Gilani, who landed in a Pakistan Air Force aircraft on his first visit to India, was accompanied by his wife Fauzia and was received at the defence airport here by Union Minister of State for Communication Sachin Pilot and Pakistan High Commissioner in India Shahid Malik among others.

Mr. Gilani will travel to the Taj Hotel where after some rest he would proceed to the Mohali stadium accompanied by his wife and some ministers to watch the match.

The Pakistani leader will be received at the stadium by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh around 1.45 p.m. Both the leaders will then be introduced to the players of the two teams before the start of the match.

In between watching the match, the two leaders will hold talks followed by early dinner at around 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Singh invited Mr. Gilani for watching the match and for a round of talks after it became clear last week that the two teams will face off in the semi-final.

Before leaving for India, Mr. Gilani told reporters in Rawalpindi that he was happy at the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan and that both the Prime Ministers were committed to work for peace and prosperity in the region.

“As far as our relations are concerned, I am happy that our talks have resumed. The talks between the Interior Secretaries were conducted in a positive manner. I appreciate that,” Mr. Gilani said.

He described Dr. Singh as an experienced politician with a positive attitude. “He (Singh) wants to work for peace and prosperity in this region. We are both committed to this and we want the environment to improve so that we can serve the people,” Mr. Gilani said.

“I have never seen him (Dr. Singh) being negative about this. I have always found him to be positive,” he said.

Mr. Gilani said he expected his visit to lead to “some progress” between the two countries and “an improvement in relations”. Besides, the Pakistan team “will get a boost”, he added.

Asked if he would try to move from playing “a one-day series to a longer series” during his talks with Dr. Singh at Mohali, Mr. Gilani replied: “Naturally when we go (to India), the talks will be held according to the opportunity.”

In response to another question on whether he would bowl a googly to Dr. Singh, Mr. Gilani said, “I am going to watch the cricket match. It’s too early to expect (anything).”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.