As he endeavours to reduce trust deficit between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a consignment of mangoes to his counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday. About 20 kgs of special Alphonso mangoes were despatched to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, which will pass these on to the Prime Minister's office there, sources said.
Singh has also sent a letter to Gilani, saying that he hopes the Pakistani prime minister would like the mangoes sent as a goodwill gesture. The initiative of sending the mangoes comes after a bonhomie witnessed between the two Prime Ministers in Thimphu last month when the two leaders decided to take steps to reduce "trust deficit". At his press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Singh said the "trust deficit" was the "biggest problem" between the two countries because of which "we could not make any headway in the composite dailogue."
Maintaining that it was important for India to "have best possible relations" with Pakistan to realise "full development potential", the prime minister said, "It has been my effort to try to reduce the gap between our two countries without surrendering or without affecting our vital national interest."
A similar case of mango diplomacy was witnessed in early 1980s when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani leader Gen Zia-ul Haq exchanged 'Anwar Rataul' mangoes. In 2001, the then Pakistani ruler General Pervez Musharraf had sent mangoes to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Home Minister L K Advani before coming to India for the Agra Summit.