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Rediff.com  » News » Team Gilani to descend on Mohali for Indo-Pak match

Team Gilani to descend on Mohali for Indo-Pak match

March 29, 2011 14:18 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will be accompanied by ex-premier Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and several of his cabinet colleagues, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, for his visit to Mohali on Wednesday to watch the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan, a media report has said.

Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, information minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, sports minister Engineer Shaukat Ullah, postal services minister Muhammad Gorgage and minister of state for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will also accompany Gilani, The News daily reported.

Former minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, spokesman for the Pakistan's People Party, party lawmaker Sherry Rehman, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam parliamentarian Laiq Muhammad Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement's Farooq Sattar will also be part of the delegation, the report said.

Several political parties are sending their leaders with Gilani as an expression of solidarity, it said. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the main opposition party, is yet to nominate its representative for the visit, the first by Gilani to India after he became the premier in 2008.

However, there was no official word on the delegation that would accompany Gilani to Mohali. Gilani is visiting India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh to watch the semi-final of the World Cup.

The two prime ministers are expected to spend over five hours in a special box at the Mohali stadium though no formal talks have been scheduled so far, the report said.

Singh will host a dinner for Gilani and his delegation before his departure for Pakistan after the game. The two prime ministers have met twice on the sidelines on international and regional meetings once at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in 2009 and again in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu last year.

They will meet again a day after the talks between the home and interior secretaries of India and Pakistan that marked the formal resumption of dialogue between the two sides after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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