Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has in principle accepted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation to visit India to watch one of the Pakistan-India cricket matches, Dawn reported Friday.
The paper quoted unnamed sources as saying dates Musharraf's visit would soon be firmed up through diplomatic channels.
Musharraf, an avid follower of cricket, said in an interview last week that he would love to watch some of the on-going India-Pakistan cricket series in India, but only if invited.
An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Wednesday said Prime Minister Singh would welcome a visit by Musharraf to witness one of the cricket matches and that the two sides were in touch with each other in this context.
Musharraf has been approached for the Bangalore Test match scheduled later this month, but the invitation extended on behalf of Singh by the Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad Shiv Shankar Menon on Thursday is "open" for any one of the matches that Musharraf chooses to watch, said the paper.
The Indian high commissioner formally conveyed the invitation via the Pakistani Foreign Office, it added.
Confirming receipt of the invitation, Foreign Office spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani told Dawn on Thursday that Musharraf's schedule was being looked at and "a decision would be taken in due course."
Pakistani officials do not rule out the possibility of "some business" during president's expected trip to India. They hint at a one-on-one Musharraf-Manmohan meeting at which important bilateral issues could be taken up.
(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2005)