Claiming that there was no objection by the Pakistan government to Pakistan Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif''s visit to India, Rana Sanaullan, the law minister of Western Punjab, said here on Saturday that Sharif had cancelled his tour due to health reasons and would come to India after getting well.
"No objections have been raised to Sharif's visit. He will be coming to India soon," said Sanaullan.
Leading a five-member delegation on the invitation of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Sanaullan crossed over to India through the Attari border on Saturday to watch the kabaddi world cup final between India and Pakistan. Punjab public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia extended them a warm welcome.
Talking to reporters, Sanaullan said, "Indo-Pak relations have traversed through numerous oscillations and phases over the past six decades, but things are now heading for a positive turn. Closer socio-cultural contacts have breathed a new life into Indo-Pak relations, and the stage is now set for enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries by resolving the issues across the table."
Stressing on the need for more exchange programmes and people-to-people contacts between India and Pakistan, Sanaullan said he hoped that the newly signed visa policy would benefit the two nations and bring people of India and Pakistan closer.
Welcoming the guests from Pakistan, Majithia said, "Kabaddi has proved to be a via media for restoration of amicable relations. This was the most popular sport in undivided Punjab, and is still close to the hearts of Punjabis on either side of the border. The kabaddi world cup and sports and cultural exchanges have broken the thaw and will go a long way in resolving the issues coming in the way of amicable relations between the two countries."
He said Sharif and Sukhbir had put in sincere efforts to ensure better relations between the two countries by giving a fillip to trade through the Attari border. "The ball has been set rolling for meaningful trade relations between India and Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border. It is now up to the governments of India and Pakistan to keep the momentum going," said Majithia.
The other Pakistan delegates included deputy speaker Rana Mashood Ahmed, national assembly member Khurram Dastgir, senator Kamran Michael and Sardar Jahan Zaib Waran, special assistant to the Pakistan Punjab chief minister on information technology.
Chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Bolaria, MLAs Baljit Singh and Gulzar Singh Ranike, industrialist Suneet Kochhar and others also welcomed the guests from Pakistan.