Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lahore visit as a “bold” and “sagacious” move, Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal on Sunday said his state would benefit the most if Indo-Pak relations improve.
“The initiative of visiting Lahore by Prime Minister during his return journey from Kabul was a bold and sagacious move,” Badal said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function here, he said that in order to normalise relations between the two neighbouring countries, both sides must resolve their long pending problems through negotiations and dialogue process.
The 88-year-old five-time Chief Minister also said, “Punjab will benefit most and will be the maximum gainer if Indo–Pak relations improve.”
“In that scenario, the trade will get a big boost and we will definitely benefit from that.”
On Friday, Prime Minister Modi had returned home from his three-nation visit which took him to Russia, Afghanistan and a surprise stop-over in Pakistan.
The two-and-a-half hour visit to the neighbouring nation was first by an Indian prime minister in nearly 12 years.
The Prime Minister held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during which they decided to open ways for peace for the “larger good” of the people of the two countries.
Meanwhile, in his reply to a question regarding political leaders joining new parties in Punjab recently, ahead of the 2017 assembly polls, Badal said “this change or defection is not due to any ideology or change of heart but is the result of local complaints of such leaders against their other parties (parties which they dump).”
“It does not lead to any substantial change in any party’s vote bank,” he pointed out. Badal expressed his displeasure with the practice of raking up petty and personal issues by various leaders in an effort to make narrow political gains.
Without naming anyone, he categorically said, the trend must stop as early as possible. “We should grow out of this and display political maturity and self control on issues,” he said.