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Battle of Mohali today
Source: Our Staff Reporter Submitted 5 hrs 8 mins ago

ISLAMABAD - Cricket fever gripped Pakistan on Tuesday ahead of a World Cup showdown with the historic foe India in Mohali today. The South Asian neighbours, with a shared history of brotherhood and bloodshed that adds spice to any encounter, will meet in the World Cup semi-final in the competition’s biggest match yet by far. Pakistan is in festive mood all around. Jumbo screens have been installed in almost every city and the government has announced half-day holiday for the semi-final. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has announced half-day holiday for Wednesday (today) so that the people can watch Pakistan-India Cricket World Cup semi-final, therefore all the offices will close at 12:00 pm. Meanwhile Federal Minister for Privatisation, Syed Naveed Qamar, who is also having the additional charge of Ministry of Water and Power, during a press conference, said that they would try their level best to ensure power supply to maximum areas during the Pakistan-India cricket semi-final. The Sindh government, meanwhile, has declared full-day holiday in the province. Agencies add: Prime Minister Gilani will leave for Chandigarh on Wednesday morning with a 45-member delegation to watch the semi-final. He was invited for the match by his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. Gilani’s entourage includes 17 members of personal staff and eight representatives of media. Prime Minister’s wife, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar, Foreign Secretary Suleman Bashir would also accompany the PM. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in National Assembly leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali khan and other PML-N leaders including Pervaiz Rashid refused to go with the Prime Minister to watch the match. According to some reports, PM would hold talks with his Indian counterpart ahead of match and the latter would host a reception for him. Later a joint press conference would be held. Both the leaders would move to Mohali cricket stadium to watch match after press conference. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said he would offer ‘Nawafil’ if Pakistani cricket team would win the semi final match verses India. Lawmakers and politicians are also taking keen interest in the Pakistan-India semi-final. Special prayers for success of Pakistani cricket team were held in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday.

From Internet networking sites to social gatherings. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the day-night game with him and they are expected to shake hands with both teams before the match. Speculation has reached a crescendo about the outcome of the epic clash and whether it will help relations between the nuclear-armed nations.” he said. eight months but we are playing as a unit. “I have already told all our customers that the gym will be closed in the evening. Other parties also prayed for the team’s victory. In another reflection of the interest.” Bashir Khan. adding that cricket “always brings these two countries together. “Supporting the Pakistani cricket team is in our genes. not everyone in India is hoping for a victory over Pakistan in the cricket World Cup: in Indian-held Kashmir. and prayed for Pakistan’s success in the semi-final match against India. the main city in Indian Kashmir. Police in Mohali said they were “leaving nothing to chance” with a security blanket involving 2. a victory on home turf would lead to euphoria in the cricket-crazy country of 1. The Pakistan Cricket Board has said it will throw open Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium for fans to watch the match for free on giant screens.The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members gathered in the chamber of Syed Sardar Ahmed. the MQM parliamentary leader in the house. In the hotel where the players are staying. allegiance to the rival team reflects bitter feelings in the region. 65. you will find yourself in a pressure cooker. have lost all four of their encounters with India in the competition. World Cup champions in 1992. told AFP in Srinagar. Guests were asked to open their doors at midnight to allow security personnel to scan their luggage. A plane from the Pakistani Air Force was seen flying over Mohali Tuesday as part of a security assessment for Prime Minister Gilani’s visit.000 police and paramilitary personnel around the venue in Mohali. which have fought three wars since independence in 1947. “If I don’t get a ticket I will protest outside the gates. Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly.000 votes.indicating the country’s role as favourites and its superior population. the security deployment will reportedly involve anti-aircraft guns and missiles. For India.” Many offices in both countries are expected to shut for the afternoon amid predictions of record absenteeism as workers call in sick to stay at home to watch the game on television.” Meanwhile. Aside from the many police on duty. Thousands of Pakistanis are also set to take part in mass prayer session today. A man trying to sell 200-rupee tickets for 30. “It’s an honour to lead the side. “This is a match that one gets to see once in a lifetime. The lawmakers said that they wanted to enjoy the match on a big screen. a 33-year-old who runs a gymnasium in Mohali. “We are leaving nothing to chance.” local police chief GPS Bhullar told reporters.” diehard fan Mohammad Hafiz.000 rupees ($670) on auction website eBay was arrested on Monday. “We’ve been going through a very tough time for the last seven. Pakistan. The security will be multi-layered. including opener Sachin Tendulkar who needs just one more century for 100 international hundreds. a Facebook poll on “Who Will Win The Semifinal” has drawn 750. The match will be a contest between Pakistan’s well-balanced bowling attack and India’s star-studded batsmen. Jam Madad Ali said that he would watch the match on a big screen in his constituency. As part of security checks. . with two-thirds opting for India . who last won the World Cup in 1983. “I am very tense and praying for the victory of Pakistan.000-capacity stadium have been sold. “If you take a pressure job.” Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday. told AFP.” he told reporters on Tuesday. told AFP outside the stadium on Tuesday.2 billion people.” Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said his side had taken on board warnings against match-fixing following the suspension of three players in a betting scandal last year. a desperate Pakistani who had travelled from Chicago. It reflects our anger at India. All tickets for the 30. two policemen working as official food tasters have been eating three lavish meals a day to check for poisoning or other hygiene problems. most Kashmiris openly acknowledge their support for Pakistan in Wednesday’s semi-final clash with India. I can’t imagine missing this one. late-night raids were conducted at various hotels around the venue in Mohali and nearby Chandigarh on Monday night to weed out suspicious visitors.” Harkirat Pratap. The excitement is almost too much to bear.

pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online//Politics/30-Mar-2011/Battle-of-Mohalitoday . told AFP. reported a private TV channel.“There is huge distrust and alienation among Kashmiris due to the wrong policies of India. http://nation.com. these are the main reasons for the support the Pakistani team enjoys.” Gul Mohammad Wani. “In my opinion. who teaches political science at Kashmir University.” Monitoring Desk adds: Heavy rain lashed Indian city of Chandigarh late on Tuesday night.