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    Mohali sub plot: Manmohan's cricket diplomacy

    New Delhi: Mixing cricket and diplomacy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday over dinner in the Mohali cricket stadium on the margins of the World Cup semi-finals between the two countries.

    An indication that the Congress party is also backing him in his latest peace initiative can be seen as Sonia Gandhi will also be witnessing the high-voltage cricket encounter possibly along with other members of her family including
    Rahul Gandhi.

    Singh will reach Mohali around 2 PM after a short drive from Chandigarh airport and receive Gilani and his entourage at the entrance of the stadium.

    Both the leaders will proceed to the ground where they will be introduced to the players of the two teams before the start of the match at 2.30 PM.

    The dinner for the visiting dignitary will be hosted by Singh probably when the teams have a break after the first innings but officials said timing is "flexible" and could be altered according to requirements.

    There is no word yet on what the two leaders will discuss but officials say that there could be a media briefing after the dinner meeting.

    National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will be among the officials who would be accompanying the Prime Minister.

    Prime Minister's wife Gursharan Kaur is also hosting a dinner for Fauzia Gilani separately.

    In a sudden decision last week, the Prime Minister sent out invitations to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Gilani to come and witness the match in what is considered as a diplomatic initiative to give a fresh impetus to bilateral relations.