Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif expressed the hope that people in the Pakistani Punjab and Indian Punjab can come together and work to solve mutually afflicting problems such as low education, boost bilateral trade.
Shahbaz was speaking before the final match of the Kabaddi world cup between Pakistan and India at the Guru Nanak stadium in the Indian city of Ludhiana on Saturday evening.
Realising that his initial speech in Urdu was failing to captivate the largely Punjabi-speaking audience, Shahbaz switched to Punjabi to rapturous applause.
“Today is the world cup of Kabbaddi. The final match is between neighbouring countries. If India wins, it means Pakistan’s neighbour has won and we will congratulate you. If Pakistan wins, your [India] neighbour wins, and you can congratulate me,” he said in Punjabi.
“This time you have invited me here, next time we will have the kabbadi world cup in Lahore and I will invite the [Indian] Punjab chief minister and all these people here to come and watch.”
Shahbaz expressed the hope that the people living in the two halves of Punjab can come together to solve mutually afflicting problems such as low education and together can work to take strides in the fields of trade, science and technology.
“Some things I have learnt here and some things you can learn when you come to Lahore and together Pakistan Punjab and Indian Punjab can work together to solve problems like trade, education, health, unemployment.”
“We should sit together for resolving all the issues,” he said, adding, “we should work for the promotion of trade and bilateral relations between Pakistan and India.”
The Punjab Chief Minister said that he has brought a message and peace and hoped that there would be more bilateral sporting events including kabaddi, wrestling, hockey and cricket.
“We will also host wrestling, we have wrestlers (pehlwan) and you have great wrestlers too and we will see who wins”