Manmohan meets Gilani over dinner
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Mohali, Mar 30: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani over dinner here on the sidelines of the Indo-Pak cricketing encounter.
The dinner at the Punjab Cricket Association club house at the stadium here started mid-way between the high-voltage semi-final match when Pakistan had lost 2 wickets. The two leaders watched the Indian innings together.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Union Agriculture Minister and ICC chief Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of State Sachin Pilot, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon were also part of the dinner engagement.
Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda respectively, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia were also present.
From the Pakistani side, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Defence Minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar and Minister of State in Foreign Ministry Hina Rabani Khar, Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan and Pakistani High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik were present.
The seating arrangements were mixed at the dinner table with Sonia Gandhi seated between Gilani and Rehman Malik. The Pakistani Defence Minister was seated next to Prime Minister Singh.
Wali Khan, the grandson of Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, was seated between Rahul Gandhi and Pilot.
This is Gilani’s maiden visit to India after he took over as Prime Minister in March, 2008. The two leaders have earlier met in third countries like Sharm-el-Shaikh in 2009, Washington and Thimphu in April, 2010.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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