London: Former Pakistan President Pervez
Musharraf on Tuesday welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s
invitation to his Pakistani counterpart to watch the
Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final match but said that cricket
diplomacy cannot lead to resolution of disputes.
"I think it is an opportunity. Certainly," Musharraf
said explaining that cricket diplomacy has two benefits.
"Firstly, I think it can be used as an ice-breaker in
case the two opposing groups` leadership is not in touch
with each other.
"Secondly when they meet, it improves the environment
of discussion because they have a better understanding of each
other because I have personally believed that inter-state
relations have much to do with inter-personal relations,"
Musharraf, who is currently in a self-imposed exile, said.
In a goodwill gesture, Singh had last week invited
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the high voltage World Cup
semi-final match between the two countries together in Mohali
Saying that it was a "correct action" of inviting
Gilani, Musharraf told Times Now that cricket diplomacy
develops personal relations.
However, he threw in a word of caution. "But if we
think that it will lead to resolution of dispute, that is
another issue. It facilitates resolution. It does not lead to
resolution. Cricket diplomacy does not mean that you can
resolve disputes just because you attended a match together,"
He said cricket diplomacy only develops understanding
between two leaders and that is exactly what happened when he
went to watch cricket match in India.
"There was better understanding between me and Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, certainly, which we took forward," he
He said the motive behind Singh`s invitation was
Musharraf also said it was a wrong perception that it
is the ISI or the Army that runs the government.
"Government is run by a person who heads the cabinet
because all decisions are taken in the cabinet.I don`t think I
as DG ISI or Army chief attended the cabinet meeting...That is