Ludhiana: Chief Minister of Pakistan`s Punjab province Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday said here that people of both the sides should bury the past and demolish all walls that hinder progress.
"Demolish all the walls which hinder the prosperity and progress of both the states," Sharif said. He said Punjab on both the sides should learn from the countries of the European Union, who have buried past and now joined hands to usher progress in their respective countries despite the fact that there is not much common among them.
Sharif, who is currently on an India visit, said that on the contrary Punjabis have almost everything in common.
"We share a common heritage having natural bonding of language, culture and cuisine moreover we were permanent neighbours and thus it was all the more important to generate bonhomie amongst the people of both the countries through people-to-people contact to further consolidate the confidence building exercise between both the nations," he stressed
"So, the need of the hour is to identify the area of friendliness and peace to herald a new era of unprecedented development across the border," he said.
"In the past, we have moved slowly towards this goal but it was the time to run so that an atmosphere of warmth and affection in the region could be created," he added.
Chief Ministers of both the Indian and Pakistani Punjab are set to sign an agreement to identify mutual areas of interest and cooperation tomorrow.
A high level committee of officers and Vice Chancellors of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana and Faisalabad besides Guru Angad Dev Veterinary Sciences University has been constituted by both the Chief Ministers to finalise the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Sharif, mooted the proposal of a protocol agreement during deliberations held at the PAU here to which Parkash Singh Badal responded positively.
Both governments agreed to encourage people-to-people contact as part of this protocol exercise besides cooperating with each other in agriculture, animal husbandry, agro processing and industrial and trade ventures.
The Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister also appreciated the unique initiative taken by (Indian Punjab) Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who led a delegation recently to Pakistan to strengthen bilateral ties between East and West Punjab and batted for more such visits.
Lauding the state Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for providing free power to the farmers, Sharif said that he was unable to implement the same decision in his own (Pak) Punjab.
Sharif also lauded the SAD-BJP government for governance reforms like, Right to service Act and computerisation of land records.
He also endorsed the proposal mooted by Vice Chancellor of the PAU Dr B S Dhillon to initiate joint research efforts on the land across both sides of international border so that the farmers of East and West Punjab could share their vast experience and expertise to enhance productivity.
Badal said that these visits should not be mere formalities but they should be result oriented so as to benefit the entire region.
Batting strongly for relaxing the visa regime between both the countries, he said that it would help in free movement of the people from both the sides of border and strengthen the brotherhood between both the countries.
86-year-old Badal expressed hope that the visit by Sharif would go a long way not only in improving the relations between both the countries but would prove immensely beneficial for the Punjabis, across the border.
The Chief Minister said that frequent visits of official delegations along with that of the farmers, artistes and other eminent personalities from all walks of life could play a pivotal role in it.
He said that efforts must be made by both the state governments of East and West Punjab to impress upon their respective national governments to make stupendous efforts for removing all the barriers that hinder the development of friendship between both the nations.