Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani on Tuesday announced a half working day for government
offices for Wednesday so that people could watch the cricket World
Cup semi-final between arch-rivals India and Pakistan at
A statement issued by Gilani`s office this evening
said the Prime Minister had announced a "half-day for tomorrow
so that the people could watch the Pakistan-India cricket
All government offices will close at noon tomorrow,
the statement said.
Attendance at all government and private offices is
expected to be thin tomorrow due to the people`s interest in
the game that will showcase one of the world`s most intense
In a related development, Interior Minister Rehman
Malik said there was "no need to create hype" over the World
Cup semi-final as such a development would put unnecessary
pressure on the players.
"It is just a game and not war between Pakistan and
India. We should keep our team`s morale high and creating hype
creates a negative impact on our players` performance," he
told reporters outside parliament.
Malik said the whole country is praying for the
victory of the Pakistani team and the players should focus on
Cricket diplomacy has brought Pakistan and India
closer and improved relations between the two countries are
key to regional peace, he said.
"I will accompany Prime Minister Gilani during his
visit to India, which will help boost the morale of the player
and the relationship between the two countries," he said,
referring to Gilani`s decision to accept his Indian
counterpart Manmohan Singh`s invitation to watch the match at