New Delhi :In a bid to give a fresh impetus to bilateral ties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today invited Pakistan President and Prime Minister to watch the Indo-Pak cricket encounter in Mohali on March 30 when he will also be present.
In identical letters to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Dr Singh proposed them to watch the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final. He said there is huge excitement over the match and people are looking forward to a great game of cricket that will be a victory for sport.
The letters have been sent to top Pakistani Leadership ahead of the home secreary level talks being held in New Delhi from Monday.
Correspondent reports that Cricket diplomacy between the two countries, which have often witnessed acrimonious ties in the last over two decades, had brought the late President Zia-ul Haq and former President Pervez Musharraf to watch cricket matches in India.
Haq, a former alumini of St Stephen’s in Delhi, had come to watch a test match in Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur in February 1987 at the invitation of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The two met and held discussions after the event in Delhi. Musharraf, who also has his origins in Delhi, also came to watch an Indo-Pak encounter at Ferozeshah Kotla ground here in 2005 when he was in power.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari today said that dialogue is essential to resolve the problems between the two countries.
In an interview to Al-Arabiya news channel in Islamabad, he said, Pakistan is hoping to engage India in a new dialogue.
Asked if he would visit India to give a push to the peace process, he said, let the talks come up to a certain level.
Pakistan has welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s invitation to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch Indo-Pak World Cup cricket semi-final match at Mohali.
Official sources said, a decision on the invitation will be taken after Pak PM returns from Tashkent.