Mohali: Buoyed by his cricket diplomacy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India and Pakistan must “find ways” to resolve whatever be the “differences” between the two neighbours.
Singh also said that he and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani reaffirmed their resolve to make every “honest effort” to overcome difficulties coming in the way of improving bilateral relations.
“Whatever be the differences between our two countries, we have to find ways to resolve them,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking to reporters last night after hosting a dinner in honour of Gilani on the margins of India-Pakistan World Cup cricket semi final match here.
Gilani on his part said that the two countries have the “capacity and ability” to resolve bilateral issues themselves and observed that Singh showed magnanimity by saying he is ready to resolve all issues by “sitting together”.
Singh also gave the “beautiful game” of cricket credit in being a “uniting factor” to bring the two prime ministers together.
“Cricket”, Singh said “has been a uniting factor. It has brought our two PMs together and I dare say that’s a very good beginning”.
He said the “message” from Mohali is that the people of the two countries want to live in “peace and amity”.
At the dinner meeting, Singh said the two countries “should be working together to find cooperative solutions and need permanent reconciliation to live together in dignity and honour”.
“We should put our ancient animosities behind us to attend to the problems of our nations,” he said.
In his brief interaction with newsmen, Singh said, “Gilani-sahab and I have had extensive discussions on all outstanding issues and we have reaffirmed our resolve that there are difficulties in the way but we will make every honest effort to overcome those difficulties.
“And the message from Mohali is that the people of India and Pakistan want to live in peace and amity and that the two PMs have committed their governments to work in that direction,” he said.
Singh said he was “very grateful” to Gilani for “having accepted my invitation to join me in watching this beautiful game of cricket”.
Gilani on his part termed his talks with Singh as “positive” and said they discussed all the core issues between the two countries.
“Talks were positive. We discussed all the core issues between the two countries,” Gilani told the Pakistan media in a brief chat after his dinner meeting.
“We don’t want that we are unable to resolve our own issues. We have the capacity and ability to resolve our issues by ourselves. We held talks on all outstanding issues and Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) showed magnanimity by saying he is ready to resolve all issues by sitting together”, the Pakistan Prime Minister said.
“Today’s match brought the peoples and leadership of the two countries together. This, I believe, is the positive outcome of today’s semifinal”, Gilani said.