From one Punjab to another

Marking the end of Pakistan Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif ’s visit to India, the two Punjabs agreed to reduce trade barriers for promotion of business and encourage new routes of trade.
A joint statement approved by Sharif and his counterpart Parkash Singh Badal said the two sides will also pursue policies for easy access for people of both sides to religious places of their respective faiths.
During his visit to India, Sharif last week met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and renewed Islamabad’s invitation to Singh to visit Pakistan. In his meetings with both Singh and Badal, he emphasized that war was not an option for the two countries and that they needed to live as civilized neighbours.
The PM had raised with him the issue of recent ceasefire violations which have stalled the dialogue process between the two nations.
During his interaction with Badal, it was mutually agreed to promote cooperation for the common interest of “peace, harmony, economic growth and leveraging each other’s potential”.
Under what the two sides described as a memorandum of commitment, they will also facilitate exchange of academicians, experts and researchers.
They will also encourage exchange of students and interns from educational institutions. The joint statement called for promotion of community contacts and understanding through exchange of delegations consisting of professionals and practitioners from different sectors including agriculture, trade, industry and commerce. 

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