With love from Pak for Punjab politicians: Rare breed animals

While it is tractors that appear to be the favourite of top Punjab politicians when it comes to gifting their counterparts on their visits to the neighbouring Pakistan, the return gifts are generally indigenous breed four-legged ones that are let into the country after a quarantine period at the Wagah border.

The latest such exchange took place when Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal gifted a tractor to the Pakistan Punjab's chief minister Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to the neighbouring country last week. Sukhbir gifted a tractor, of course assembled in Punjab, to Sharif and the gesture was returned in the form of a buffalo of the famed Neeli Ravi breed. Experts point out that this particular breed, with a milk yield of 35-40 litres per day with a fat percentage of more than 6 per cent, is found mainly in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan and Bahawal Nagar districts in Punjab Province. The breed has a wedge shape, massive frame, small curly horns, and wall eyes. The body colour is black and an important characteristic of this breed is that it bears white markings on the forehead, face, muzzle and legs and has a white patch on tail. Sources said that Sharif had asked for a choice return-gift and Sukhbir told him that he would prefer a Neeli Ravi breed buffalo, which shall ultimately find its way to the Badal farms in his village.

A few years ago, his father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was gifted two pairs of dumba ( a rare sheep native to Afghanistan) by his counterpart. However, all four have died. During the inaugural ceremony of the first Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari in April this year Parkash Singh Badal recalled how his counterpart from Punjab had gifted him the dumba when he visited Pakistan during the Vajpayee regime. "Sharif Sahib those dumba have died and I want new ones now. I also wish I can bring cows of Sahiwal breed from Pakistan," Badal had then told Sharif.

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