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Mar 31, 2011 at 09:53am IST

Cricket diplomacy: it's win for both India, Pak

New Delhi: India won the World Cup semifinal match against Pakistan on Wednesday, but off the field, it was a win for both India and Pakistan as the cricket diplomacy clearly worked after two failed attempts in the past.

As India and Pakistan battled on the pitch, Manmohan Singh made a point to his guest Yusuf Raza Gilani that his ancestors had a role in laying the foundations of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and that the camaraderie could continue.

"whatever be the differences between our two countries we have to find pathways to resolve them and Gilani sahab and I have had extensive discussion on all outstanding issues and we have reaffirmed our resolves that there are difficulties but we will make very honest effort to overcome those difficulties," Manmohan Singh.

"He wants to work for peace and prosperity in the region. We are both committed to this and we want the environment to improve so that we can serve the people," said Pak PM Yusuf Raza Gilani.

But Manmohan Singh didn't underscore his Government's concerns on terror from Pakistani soil.

"we haven't put 26/11 on the backburner. PM has said there should be an atmosphere free of terror if we want genuine normalisation of relations," said Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

The normalisation process will be continued with the commerce secretaries meeting in Islamabad in April followed by the defence secretaries and foreign secretaries and culminating in the two foreign ministers getting together.

Meanwhile, India has invited Pakistani MPs for a visit.

"We will stay in touch, keep up the contact as the dialogue develops positive momentum will emerge enough to make feasible a PM visit," said Nirupama Rao.

But for a visit by Manmohan Singh to happen, Pakistan will have to bite the bullet on the trial of the 26/11 conspirators, and that maybe beyond the powers of Yusuf Raza Gilani to deliver.

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