Meira Kumar charms Pakistanis with her Urdu

February 22, 2012 10:35 pm | Updated 10:35 pm IST - ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said he shared his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh's desire for peace and maintained that his government was committed to a result-oriented and productive engagement with India.

Mr. Gilani was addressing a reception hosted for the visiting Indian parliamentary delegation headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. Advocating stronger linkages between Parliaments, he said: “Governments come and go but the love of people remains and your visit will pave the way for strengthening relations between the people.''

Ms. Kumar said the two Parliaments, in which different parties have representation, reflect the will of more than a billion people. Parliament is the best forum to bring people together. Her Pakistani counterpart, Fehmida Mirza, stressed the importance of parliamentary diplomacy; adding that friendship groups of Parliaments should hold meetings twice a year to increase mutual understanding.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Kumar interacted with the Women Caucus in Pakistan's Parliament; many of whom were present at the dinner last night where the Speaker charmed her way into the hearts of the gathering with her flawless Urdu. As opposed to Ms. Mirza who spoke mainly in English, Ms. Kumar confined herself to Urdu; punctuating her speech with couplets from noted poets including Firaq Gorakhpuri and thereby demolishing a widely held perception that Urdu was dead in India.

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