Banwala Anu (Sri Muktsar Sahib), April 8 (YP Bureau)
Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal today said that during the ongoing visit of Pakistan President Mr Asif Ali Zardari to the country, the Government of India should persuade him for opening trade from borders of the state, so that impetus could be provided to the economy of Punjab.
Talking to the newsmen here on the fourth day of his thanks giving tour of the Lambi Assembly segment, the Chief Minister said that the visit assumes significance as improving of the bilateral ties between both the neighboring countries along with promotion of trade between them would benefit both the countries in general and Punjab in particular.
Badal said that Punjab being a land locked state had been a victim of the wrong policies of the successive Congress government at the Centre, who have virtually ignored economic development of the state. However Badal said that if the borders of the state were opened for cross border trade with Pakistan then it would prove to be a major boon for the farmers of the state, who were on verge of economic disaster due to the exorbitant hike by the current Union government in the agricultural inputs.
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The Chief Minister said that opening of trade from the state would open new avenues for the traders and the farmers of Punjab as through Pakistan they could be able to establish trade links with the other countries of Arab world, where the demand of things produced in the state was very high. He said that the SAD-BJP government has been regularly pursuing the Union government to open the Hussainiwala and Attari borders for trade with Pakistan but all of their efforts have proved futile.
The Chief Minister said that the Union government must ensure that while exporting agricultural commodities to Pakistan it should give preference to Punjab, which was the food bowl of the country. “Punjabis have a lot of expectations from the current historic visit of Mr Zardari to the country, so the Government of India must take initiative for safeguarding the economic interests of the state” added Mr Badal.
Earlier addressing the gatherings of people in villages including Lambi, Kheowali, Bhaagu, Banwala Anu, Chak Midhu Singhwala, Mehna, Khuddian Maha Singh, Khuddian Gulab Singh, Sehna Kehra and Aadniyaan, the Chief Minister thanked the people of state for giving a historic verdict in the favour of developmental policies of the SAD-BJP alliance.
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Special Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister Mr KJS Cheema and Mr Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister Mr Sukhjeet Pal Singh and Political Advisor to the Chief Minister Major Bhupinder Singh.