Mohali/Islamabad: Encouraged by the success of his cricket diplomacy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India and Pakistan must "find ways" to resolve whatever be the "differences" between them. However, Pakistan Prime Minister termed the meeting between them as a "win-win" event.

Pakistan said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh that Kashmir and other longstanding issues have to be addressed "earnestly".

Manmohan Singh spoke to reporters on Wednesday night after hosting a dinner in honour of Gilani on the margins of India-Pakistan World Cup cricket semi final match in Mohali.

Manmohan Singh said that he and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani reaffirmed their resolve to make every "honest effort" to overcome difficulties coming in the way of improving bilateral relations.

He said, "Whatever be the differences between our two countries, we have to find ways to resolve them."

Gilani, however, said that the two countries have the "capacity and ability" to resolve bilateral issues themselves and observed that Singh showed magnanimity by saying he is
ready to resolve all issues by "sitting together".

Singh said he was "very grateful" to Gilani for "having accepted my invitation to join me in watching this beautiful game of cricket".

Gilani on his part termed his talks with Singh as "positive" and said they discussed all the core issues between the two countries.

Gilani on Kashmir issue

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has told his Indian counterpart that Kashmir and other longstanding issues have to be addressed "earnestly".

Referring to Wednesday's meeting between Gilani and Singh during the thrilling semi-final match between India and Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua in Islamabad said, "In short, Mohali was a win-win for the Pakistan-India process of engagement."

In response to questions that the two leaders had not referred to the Kashmir issue during their public comments on Wednesday, Janjua said that "Kashmir was discussed in the context of bilateral relations".

Pakistan is looking at the "entire engagement in a positive manner" and the two premiers had provided an impetus to the process, she said.

She said, "Prime Minister Gilani assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that indeed this was what the government and people of Pakistan desired."

Talking about the meeting between the two leaders, she quoted Gilani as having told Singh: "Both sides needed to also focus on the issues of stability and peace in the region."

Gilani also stressed that Pakistan wants to "move towards a comprehensive and broad-ranging engagement with India on the basis of equality, mutual trust, mutual interest
and mutual respect".

'Mohali talks as milestone'

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday described his interaction with the Indian leadership in Mohali as a "milestone" in opening a new chapter of good neighbourly relations and cooperation.

In an official statement issued by his office, Gilani said the World Cup semi-final match in Mohali provided a "very useful opportunity to the leadership of Pakistan and India to get together and discuss the whole gamut of bilateral relations".

The warmth and hospitality shown by the Indian leadership and people to Gilani, his entourage and Pakistan's cricket team reflected "the shared sentiments of goodwill
between our two people which needs to be built upon for sustained and long-lasting peace and amity between the two countries", the statement quoted Gilani as saying.

Zardari for frequent exchanges

President Asif Ali Zardari said dialogue between Pakistan and India is the only way
forward to address all outstanding issues and regular interaction will provide a "solid platform" to reduce misperceptions and mistrust.

Zardari also described the meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Indian leadership as "a positive development" for the region.

Zardari made the remarks during a meeting with Gilani, who briefed the President on his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the cricket World
Cup semi-final at Mohali.

Regular interaction at all levels will provide Pakistan and India a "solid platform to resolve mutual issues" and "help obviate and reduce misperceptions and mistrust", Zardari said.

The two countries need to resolve all issues so that they can concentrate on the welfare of their people by addressing problems like hunger, disease and poor infrastructure, he said.

Zardari greeted the Indian and Pakistani cricket teams for a good game in the World Cup semi-final and said winning or losing a match was not really important.

(JPN/Agencies)