Terming the new visa agreement between India and Pakistan as a "historic" decision, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal today emphasised on making more such efforts to boost trade and commerce between the two nations.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function at Khalsa College here, the chief minister welcomed the decision as a noble gesture which would play a pivotal role in enhancing mutual goodwill and trust between both the countries.
Badal, however, said more efforts were required to increase people-to-people contact in the Indian sub-continent so as to usher an era of unprecedented development and co-operation in the region.
"The time was ripe when the national governments of both the countries should join hands for making more such sustainable efforts which would result in promotion of friendship, trust, brotherhood, peace and amity between both the countries," he told reporters here.
Laying thrust on the need for increasing trade between the two countries through the land route, the chief minister pointed out that Punjab being a land locked state would be immensely benefited from it.
He said if trade between India and Pakistan was increased through the land route then it would immensely benefit the farmers and traders of both the countries by opening new avenues for them thereby resulting in heralding an era of unprecedented economic prosperity for them.
Badal also said that the central government should also make concerted efforts for opening trade avenues with the countries of central asia through the land route so that people of Punjab could be benefited from it.
Replying to a question, Badal said that the state government was fully sensitised to check the crime against women in the state.
Badal said that he had asked the principal secretary home DS Bairns and advocate general Ashil Aglaia to explore the possibility of amending the existing provisions of punishment in such cases so as to make them more harsher.
He reiterated that the necessary amendments would be incorporated in the existing laws so that exemplary and strict punishment could be ensured to the culprits involved in crime against women in the state.