Saturday, April 16, 2005

Musharraf and Singh Revive Cricket Diplomacy

President Musharraf of Pakistan today starts a visit to India as part of the ongoing negotiations over Kashmir.

His visit will take in one match of the six-match cricket series being played in India over the weekend between the two countries - a sign of thawing relations - and so marks a return to "cricket diplomacy."

This is the first such visit since the disastrous summit of 2001, which saw India and Pakistan on the brink of war. This time round the mood is much more positive, even if nobody expects any concrete result from the visit. It comes a week after the launch of the trans-Kashmir bus service, which first highlighted the determination of the people to achieve peace.

Update: Remarks by President Musharraff at a banquet over the weekend:

"People's wishes and aspirations have overtaken their leaders' and their governments. Therefore, I think the [peace] process is irreversible... The period of conflict management is over. We have entered an era of conflict resolution... It needs two hands to clap. They say it takes two to tango. We may be too old to tango but my hand is extended to clap."

Pakistan won the cricket by 3 matches to 1.

Musharraf in India, for peace, prayers and cricket#compstory

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