Thackeray flays PM over cricket invite to Pak President, PM

Last Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 21:29

Mumbai: The Congress may call it a "holistic" approach towards friendly relations with Pakistan, but Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has flayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for inviting his Pakistani counterpart to the March 30 World Cup cricket semi-final match.

"Why should injustice be done to Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru? They should also be invited to the match," the Sena chief said in a hard-hitting editorial in party mouthpiece `Saamana`.

"Instead of adopting a harsh stance against the enemy country, Singh is laying down the carpet," Thackeray said.

"If Pak President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani can be invited for the match in the name of peace, why should injustice be done to Kasab and Guru," he said, of the main accused in the Mumbai terror attacks and the Parliament attack.

"Pakistani leaders in the past watched cricket matches in India but that did not result in a change of heart and India continues to be a target of terror attacks from across the border," Thackeray said.

However, backing the fresh round of cricket diplomacy, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said in Delhi, "India has always been desirous of friendly relations with Pakistan.

Notwithstanding setbacks, successive Indian administrations have made overtures to the authorities there, civilian or military."

"We have always been firm that there is minimum requirement for normalistion of relations. We have certain expectations from Pakistan particularly in regard to
terrorism and we have never made any compromises on that. It is a holistic approach towards Pakistan," he said describing it as a well thought out move.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 21:29

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