Sukhbir Badal says Pakistan tour historic

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today described as historic his visit to Pakistan and said people on both sides realised that the language of economics was more beneficial than language of bullets.

He said people of two Punjabs - in India and Pakistan - were eager to boost trade, commerce, culture and sports ties. "They have realised that the language of economics was more beneficial than language of bullets," he told reporters here at the end of his five-day visit to the neighbouring country.

"We have laid a solid foundation for mutual cooperation in trade and commerce between two Punjabs and now the onus is on respective countries to carry forward the dialogue," he said.

He said the likely decision of giving full port status to Wagah will give the two Punjabs an opportunity to boost their economy.

Badal said the Joint Working Committee for trade and commerce constituted during visit would have 10 members each from both Punjabs and work out a blue print for increasing commerce and industrial ties.

He said Chief Minister of Pakistan Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has also agreed on the proposal of Joint Industrial Zones in both parts of Punjab in which entrepreneurs of both sides could set up their industries and their units would be treated on par with local industry.

Badal said he has also raised the issue of Visa Consulate at Lahore and Amritsar to facilitate travel documents to the traders and pilgrims.

He said he has asked Sharif to persuade his government to open Hussainiwala and Suleman Ki (Fazilka) borders to facilitate increased trade and commerce between both sides.

He hoped the Governments of both countries would take early decision on spot visa for those above 65 years and children.

Badal said he has requested Sharif to provide better infrastructure in ICP Pakistan to fasten the clearance of goods movement. He has also raised the issue of proper coordination on either side of border.

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