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Indian, Pakistani Leaders Practice 'Cricket Diplomacy'

March 30, 2011

Cricket diplomacy took center stage in India today with the prime ministers of both India and Pakistan attending the World Cup cricket semifinal between their countries in the Indian city of Mohali.

The competition was the first in which the two sides were playing on each other's soil since Pakistan-based militants killed 166 people in the Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani traveled at the personal invitation of his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh.

Speaking before leaving Islamabad for the competition, Gilani said there would be "some progress and improvement in relations when we visit India." It was not clear whether the two leaders planned to conduct talks on the sidelines of the game.

Today's match came a day after India and Pakistan agreed to let officials visit each others' countries in order to investigate the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/pakistan_india_cricket/3541392.html

Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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