PAK ENVOY CALLS ON PUNJAB CM, BOTH AGREE ON NEED TO PROMOTE TRADE, PEOPLE TIES IN MUTUAL INTEREST
CAPT AMARINDER SUGGESTS REVIVAL OF INDO-PAK PUNJAB GAMES TO FOSTER BETTER RELATIONS
PAK HIGH COMMISSIONER SUGGESTS EXPEDITING REPTARIATION OF PRISONERS WHO HAD COMPLETED TERMS FROM BOTH SIDES
The Voice of Chandigarh News | Photo By T S Bedi
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has called for strengthening of trade and people-to-people ties with Pakistan in order to defuse tensions and promote better relations between the two neighbours.
At an informal luncheon meeting with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Sohail Mahmood, the Chief Minister expressed concern over the declining trade levels between the two countries due to escalation in tensions along the borders in recent months.
Captain Amarinder Singh and Sohail Mahmood agreed that the downslide in trade was detrimental to the interest of both India and Pakistan. They stressed on the need for concerted efforts on both sides to ease the tensions through people-centric measures.
Captain Amarinder Singh was in favour of reviving the Indo-Pak Punjab Games, which he had introduced during his previous tenure as Chief Minister, saying sporting events could play a pivotal role in boosting people-to-people relations on both sides of the Punjab border. The games had been launched earlier in 2004 from Patiala, with events in a dozen disciplines, including hockey, cycling, athletics, gymnastics, polo, handball, wrestling, badminton, volleyball, tug-of-war, shooting and kabaddi.
The enthusiasm with which these were received then by sportspersons and others from both Indian and Pak Punjab was remarkable, the Chief Minister recalled, adding that such events are usually seen to have an extremely positive impact on peace efforts.
The High Commissioner was also of the view that more people-level contacts between the two nations could help pave the way for long-term peace and stability in the region. It was important for the development and progress of both the countries that they work in a spirit of harmony to promote the welfare of their respective people, he added.