Amid turmoil, Gilani recalls Manmohan's Mohali invite

Amid turmoil, Gilani recalls Manmohan's Mohali invite

 On a day when coup rumours swirled in Pakistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday recalled his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh's invite to watch a cricket World Cup semifinal at Mohali, saying ''in case of win or defeat, we have to see things with sagacity and not personally.''

Gilani Wednesday asserted his authority by dismissing Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a retired lieutenant general widely seen to be close to army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. He also accused the army chief and the ISI chief, General Shuja Pasha, of violating the constitution by submitting illegal replies to the Supreme Court in the case over a memo sent to Washington that said President Asif Ali Zardari had feared a military take over following last year's killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Gilani said said the government played its four-year-long innings like cricket star Javed Miandad, in a very difficult situation,  Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Speaking at the inauguration of Pakistan Television Sports Channel here at PTV Centre, he said: "We are bearing all of the attacks coming from left, right and centre." 

He said he liked Imran Khan as a sportsman but not as a politician and Inzamamul Haq and Shahid Afridi were also his favourites.

On the Mohali visit, Gilani said: "We lost the match but people were very enthusiastic and public opinion was extremely favourable for us. All our way people were very welcoming," he added.

India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in the thrilling March 30, 2011 semifinal, with Gilani's visit being dubbed cricket diplomacy. India went on to lift the World Cup by trouncing Sri Lanka April 2 in Mumbai by six wickets.

Gilani said: "In politics, we have to show magnanimity. In case of win or defeat we have to see things with sagacity and not personally."

"Throughout my political career starting in 1980s, I lost only one election in 1997 and I accepted my defeat," Gilani said, adding that in politics, Zardari is the main bowler who takes wickets.