Pakistan, India premiers may meet in London to watch cricket matches

LONDON: Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India are likely to visit London to watch cricket matches in the same week of June this year and the British officials are considering arranging a meeting between the two.

Official have told that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to visit London for three days and will watch at least two matches in which Pakistan will be playing. A official in the PM House said that no plan has been finalised yet but a London visit in June is a part of the PM’s plan.

It’s understood that British government officials are keen for both countries to reinitiate contact and take steps for reduction of tension which flared up massively in the last few days after the Pulwama attack.

The official said that the new government in India will be in place by that time and Indian officials have indicated that either the new prime minister or the foreign minister will visit London to watch the matches.

official said that British officials and others working behind the scenes are looking at the possibility of arranging talks between the two sides and have already spoken to relevant authorities in both countries. Election trend so far suggests that Narendra Modi will win the election again, albeit with a reduced margin of victory.

He has taken harsh stance against Pakistan during the election campaign to win hardline right-wing votes but its hoped that Indian position of brinkmanship will change once the election fever is over and there will be calls from within Indian for constructive dialogue with Pakistan.

Pakistan will be playing England on May 31; England on June 3; Sri Lanka on June 7; Aussies on June 12 and the big match against India will be on June 16.

India will be playing South Africa on June 5; Australia on June 5; New Zealand on June 13.

Pakistan cricket team is currently practicing in English counties, preparing for T20 and one day matches against England.

In March this year, British PM Theresa May spoke to Imran Khan and welcomed his commitment to reducing tensions with India, and the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

The leaders discussed the need to address the causes of this conflict and both leaders reiterated their commitment to the UK-Pakistan bilateral relationship. Representatives of Indian and Pakistan High Commission in London didn’t comment.