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BADAL PATS FOR OPENING OF TRADE THROUGH FAZILKA AND HUSSAINIWALA BORDERS
TRADE ACTIVITY FROM THESE BORDERS WOULD IMMENSELY BENEFIT THE REGION
PAKISTANI FEDERAL MINISTER ENDORSES BADAL'S VIEW
Mouzam (Fazilka), September 12-
Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal today urged the National Governments of India and Pakistan to open trade through Fazilka and Hussainiwala borders of the state to herald a new era of economic development in the region besides promoting people to people contact in the sub continent.
Addressing a mammoth gathering here today in a function organized to felicitate the Federal Minister of Pakistan Government Mr Mian Manjur Ahmed Watoo, who was here to visit his native village, the Chief Minister said that the opening of these borders was the need of the hour as it would promote trade activities between both the countries which would be pivotal in the development of both the eastern and western Punjab. Mr Badal said that he had already taken up this issue with the Government of India adding that he was hopeful of positive outcome on the issue He said that the time has come when both these countries should, as a part of their confidence building measures, remove these physical barriers thereby allowing the free flow of trade and commercial activity between both the countries.
The Chief Minister said that with the inflow of trade and commerce a new era of prosperity and development would be ushered in the Indian Sub Continent in general and in both the eastern and western Punjab in particular. He said that ever since independence the people of border areas of both the countries have lagged behind during the pace of development as they have not got their due share in economic development. However Mr Badal said that if the borders are opened today the borders districts of both the countries would emerge as business hubs.
The Chief Minister said that with the opening of ICP at Wagah border the trade activity has already been set up in motion between the both countries but it would get the much needed fillip only if the Fazilka and Hussainiwala borders are also opened. Mr Badal said that apart from promoting economic activity the opening of these borders would also help in further strengthening the socio-cultural ties amongst the people of both the countries. He said that the opening of trade activity from these borders is of immense significance for us because it would open new avenues of trade for our farmers and traders.
Going down the memory lane the Chief Minister recalled his college days spent in Lahore and shared his vivid memories with the gathering. Mr Badal also said that even today he aspires to visit Pakistan for reviving his vibrant memories of college days adding that even today he was very fond of the delicious Pakistani food.
In his emotional address the federal Minister of Pakistan Mr Mian Manjur Ahmed Watoo expressed gratitude of the Chief Minister for fulfilling his cherished desire of visiting his ancestral house in the village. Mr Watoo also advocated the opening of more trade routes within both the Punjabs so that people on the both the sides of borders could be benefited from it. He said that the matter was under the active consideration of the Pakistani government adding that decision on it is likely soon. Terming himself as 'messenger of love', the Pakistani federal Minister said that he would make all out efforts to ensure that trade between both the countries is boosted.
Earlier Mr Badal also announced a grant of Rs 8 lakh for upgrading the infrastructure of Primary school where Pakistani Federal Minister had studied. Later on the Chief Minister along with Mr Watoo and his family members also paid visit to the ancestral home of the Pakistani Minister and the Primary Government School where he had studied.
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Cabinet Minister Mr Surjit Kumar Jiyani and Lok Sabha MP Mr Sher Singh Ghubaya.