Pakistani hospitality, goodwill move Nitish

'India, Pak must work together to bring peace to entire region'

On his first visit to Pakistan, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said he was captivated by the warmth of brotherhood and goodwill as he shared his experiences in realising his quest for ensuring all-round development in his state.

“Pakistan and India have common history and heritage. Our bilateral relations are witnessing all-round progress. We take pride in shared history that goes back to time immemorial,” Mr Kumar said at a luncheon hosted by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

“I feel happy to be in Pakistan. I bring good wishes and greetings for people of Pakistan,” said the chief minister, who arrived here on Friday on a week-long visit. He said, he was “deeply touched” by the hospitality.

Sharing his experiences, Kumar, who became Bihar’s chief minister in 2005, said: “Seven years ago we started our quest for establishing governance and ensuring all-round development, which was a challenge and an opportunity.

“With our resolve for growth with justice, manifold achievements have been marked across sectors like governance, law and order, human resource development, infrastructure and agriculture,” he said.

“Improved law and order has paved the way for restoring authority of the state. No communal riots or social discord has been witnessed in the last seven years. With communal amity and social harmony came development,” the chief minister said.

Homage to Jinnah

Nitish Kumar also paid homage at the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan on Saturday.

Accompanied by the chief minister of Sindh, Kumar laid floral wreaths at the mazar and both the provincial heads stressed on the need for peace and brotherhood between the two countries.

“I believe that Pakistan and India need to work together and exist peacefully with each other. This will not only guarantee prosperity and development for both countries but also for the entire region,” Kumar told reporters outside the Mazar.

The chief minister of Sindh said both countries shared a lot in common and it was natural for them to have good relations.

“We share a lot in common in terms of culture and traditions and we need to build on this. I invited Mr Kumar to visit our province because I believe that more such visits between provincial heads will increase cooperation between the two nations,” he said. Kumar will also be visiting Lahore and Islamabad.

A Sindh government spokesman said: “We are aware of the importance of this visit by the Bihar chief minister and we see this as an opportunity to foster better relations between Pakistan and India and also enhance business and economic cooperation.”

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