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Musharraf to visit India for cricket match

/ Source: The Associated Press

Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf will travel to India to watch a cricket match on April 17, a senior official said Wednesday, in a move hoped to nudge forward a peace process between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

The Pakistani official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Musharraf, who last visited India in 2001, would attend the final one-day international between India and a touring Pakistan side in the Indian capital New Delhi.

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the lower house of India's parliament that he had invited Musharraf, and Pakistani officials later confirmed that the Pakistani leader had accepted although it was not yet clear what match he would attend.

Pakistani officials have said that Musharraf will travel to India for the match along with his family, but that he will also take the opportunity to discuss political matters with Indian leaders.

Over a year ago, the two countries began peace talks aimed at burying five decades of enmity that has caused three wars between them since independence from Britain in 1947. The talks have helped eased tensions but made little headway on their key dispute over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Pakistan and India are both cricket-crazy nations, with hundreds of millions tuning in when the two teams play. When India toured Pakistan last year, it was heralded as a victory for people-to-people contacts and a boon for the peace process.

Pakistan is currently touring India, playing three test matches and then six one-day internationals. The last match is in New Delhi on April 17.