Sukhbir, Sharif vow to strengthen Indo-Pak sports ties

Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Chief Minister of Pakistan`s Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday jointly inaugurated eight-day Punjab Youth Festival-2012 and `Dosti Cup` for deaf and dumb at Lahore.

While Badal described it a historic day, Sharif termed it a golden letter day in Indo-Pak Sports relations.

Speaking on the occasion, the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister said that he had been working to promote traditional games especially between India and Pakistan as he described sports as the most effective confidence building measure.

Badal, as per an official release here, said that two World Cup Kabaddi tournaments organised by Punjab Government has reiterated the resolve of people of both countries to regain the glory in traditional games of Asia and make collective efforts for that.

He said that his five-day visit to Pakistan was aimed at strengthening trade, commerce and sports relations between both countries and said that Dosti Cup would bring India and Pakistan together to hone their sports talent.

Sharif welcomed Badal`s efforts and said that he was so enthused by his initiatives that he would personally go as Chief Guest in the third edition of ensuing World Cup Kabaddi to be held in Bathinda on December 15.

He said that the `Joint Business Committee` constituted by both Punjabs would boost trade and commerce through Wagah border.

Sharif said that 27 countries would vie for honours in athletics (men and women, eight events each), badminton (men and women), football, table tennis (men and women).

He said that India and Pakistan would test their talent in Hockey, Kabaddi, Tug of War and Wrestling.

Sharif said that in Dosti Cup, deaf and dumb teams of India and Pakistan would clash in cricket, kabaddi, wrestling, badminton, table tennis and chess.

Sharif said that it was for the first time that a big contingent of 1381 players plus their coaches and managers have descended on the soil of Pakistan for these games.