Amarinder for reviving Indo-Pak Punjab games
The Punjab chief minister also expressed concern over the declining trade levels between the two countries due to the escalation in tensions along the border in recent months.punjab Updated: Apr 24, 2018 21:59 IST
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday urged strengthening people-to-people ties with Pakistan, telling that country’s envoy that reviving games between the two Punjabs would help in this.
The suggestion figured in an informal lunch meeting he had here with Pakistan high commissioner Sohail Mahmood, to whom the soldier-turned-politician also presented his book on the Kargil War, a reminder of the acrimony between the two countries.
`A Ridge too far: War in the Kargil Heights 1999’ was among the books by Amarinder Singh that were presented to the Pakistani envoy, according to a Punjab government press release.
The high commissioner also met Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar during his visit to Chandigarh.
The Punjab chief minister expressed concern over the declining trade levels between the two countries due to the escalation in tensions along the border in recent months, the official release quoting him said.
Singh and Mahmood agreed that the slide in trade was detrimental to the interest of both countries.
They stressed the need for efforts on both sides to ease tensions through “people-centric measures”.
Singh was in favour of reviving the Indo-Pak Punjab Games, which he had introduced during his previous tenure as chief minister, and said sports could play a pivotal role in boosting people-to-people relations.
The games were launched in Patiala in 2004 and included disciplines like 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 Pakistani Punjab was remarkable, the chief minister recalled.
The Pakistan envoy also felt that more people-level contacts between the two nations could help pave the way for long-term peace and stability in the region.
The Pakistan envoy, according to the release, raised the issue of repatriation of prisoners from both sides who had completed their terms.
The envoy also made a courtesy call on Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar today, evincing keen interest in Haryana’s growth in the fields of smart cities, agriculture, infrastructure development and exports.
He hailed the state for its achievement in sports at the national and international levels, a Haryana government statement said.
He said there should be an exchange in the field of sports and culture between the two sides to strengthen bilateral relations.
Mahmood invited Khattar to visit Pakistan.