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Manmohan receives mangoes from Gilani

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday was the surprise recipient of five crates of mangoes from his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani. With mangoes having practically retreated from the markets, this would be the last exchange of this summer delicacy between Indian and Pakistani leaders.

This season's mango diplomacy began with Dr. Singh dispatching 20 kg of the best Alphonso to Mr. Gilani on May 25, over a month after meeting him in Bhutan to discuss ways and means to reduce the trust deficit between the two countries. This was followed up by Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik dispatching crates of mangoes to political leaders, officials and journalists following his talks with his Indian counterpart, P. Chidambaram, in Islamabad in June.

The two countries brought mangoes to the diplomatic table in the 80s, when the then Pakistan President, Zia-ul-Haq, and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi exchanged baskets of the fruit. Gen. (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf also sent mangoes before holding talks with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Agra in 2001.

On the global stage, the U.S. recently attempted to improve its image by allowing the import of Pakistani mangoes. And three years earlier, Washington bartered the entry of Harley Davidson motorcycles by a similar move.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 2:03:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Manmohan-receives-mangoes-from-Gilani/article16138957.ece

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