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Pakistan rolls out red carpet for Nitish Kumar

world Updated: Nov 11, 2012 01:39 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar received an "unprecedented welcome" when he arrived in Karachi on Friday, as part of his week-long visit to Pakistan.

Since his arrival, he has been treated like royalty at the commercial capital of Pakistan - his visit characterised by dozens of meetings and visits.

The entire provincial Sindh cabinet arrived at the Karachi airport to receive the Bihar CM and his team as they arrived in Pakistan.

They also showed interest in the Suchna (Right to Information) Act and the Services Act, which the Sindh government wants to implement in its province.

MP NK Singh, who is accompanying the Bihar CM, said on Friday that plans are afoot to organise a trip of doctors from Sindh to Bihar - intended to gain better knowledge of the state's medical system.

Stating that he was moved by the warmth with which they were welcomed, Singh said, "Let us hope that that progress in relations is not held hostage by the past."

Singh said that as the Bihar CM has now visited Pakistan, it was now up to the MLAs from both countries to meet each other.

"The cooperation has to go to the grassroots," said Singh.

"We are at the cusp of change. Mindsets should change. Pessimism should give way to tangible hope."

Singh said that he was impressed by the progress made in the normalisation of relations with regard to trade and commerce.

"There is a lot of interest in small and medium industries."

When Pakistani authorities asked Kumar why the liberal visa regime had not been implemented so far, he promised to enquire about its progress from New Delhi.