Pak welcomes WC India invite for Zardari, Gilani

"We welcome the invitation," Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar told PTI.
"The PM is out of the country and a decision will be taken when he (Gilani) returns from Tashkent," Babar said, shortly after the Indian government extended the invitation to the two Pakistani leaders.

Gilani is expected to return to the capital tomorrow. His flight from Tashkent to Islamabad at the end of two-day official visit today was cancelled due to bad weather over the Himalayas.

Official sources said the invitation would also be discussed by the Foreign Office before a decision is taken.

A brief statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Tahmina Janjua said Singh's invitations had been received this evening.

In identical letters to Zardari and Gilani, Singh said he proposed to watch the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final and "it gives me a great pleasure" to invite them to watch the match.

"There is huge excitement over the match and we are all looking forward to a great game of cricket that will be a victory for sport.

"It gives me great pleasure to invite you to visit Mohali and join me and the millions of fans from our two countries to watch the match," he said in the letters to both the leaders.

India will clash with arch-rival Pakistan in the World Cup first semi final match on March 30 at Mohali.

Singh's cricket diplomacy will be the first major bilateral event at the summit level between the two sides either in India or Pakistan since 26/11 attacks when relations between the two countries plunged to a new low.

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.

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