Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani landed at India’s northern town of Mohali a little before the afternoon to watch the high-voltage India-Pakistan Cricket World Cup semi-final on an invitation from his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Both the Premiers will sit in a VIP-box at the Mohali Cricket Stadium to watch the ‘mother of all cricket matches’, as dubbed locally.
The winner of this match will face Sri Lanka in the final of the World Cup, which takes place once every four years.
The Pakistani prime minister is accompanied by a few of his cabinet colleagues and a huge contingent of media-personnel.
The arrival of the Pakistani senior official is being seen as a thaw in the ties between the two warring nations which have had bitter relations for more than two years, particularly after the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, blamed on Pakistan.
The Pakistan PM is scheduled to depart for his home country later in the night, after the match ends at around midnight.
This would be the third interaction between the prime ministers of the two countries.
Earlier, they met at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2009 and then at the Bhutanese capital, Thimpu, last year.
Today’s cricket match is being described as one of the biggest games in the history of cricket, not only in Asia but across the world, with one billion people expected to watch it.
The Mohali Cricket Ground has a capacity of only 18,000 spectators, but it is believed that nearly 20,000 people will be seated inside.
Also, special big-screens have been put up at famous hotels, restaurants, clubs and other meeting places, in a bid to make the event one to remember.