16 Nov 2012
Lahore, Pakistan: Punjab province Chief Minister Mian Mohammed Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday hosted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who, along with 12 delegates, is in Pakistan on a 8-day goodwill trip to promote increased mutual cooperation between the two nations.
The two leaders stressed on the need of increased bilateral interaction at the sub-national level between the states of the two countries and how they could benefit from each other's experience in their quest for removal of poverty, backwardness and other ills infecting their society.
Sharif showed particular interest in Right to Information and Right to Public Services enacted and implemented by the Bihar government leading to more transparency in the system than ever before.
Earlier, Kumar and his team visited the grave of Sufi saint Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh where he laid the traditional 'chadar' as a mark of respect to the saint. He was accompanied by Punjab Auqaf Minister Haji Ehsanuddin Qureshi and other government officials.
The Bihari delegation also visited the ancient site of Taxila, noted for Hindu and Buddhist seats of learning and knowledge dating back to at least 5th century BC. The Chief Minister planted a sapling of a tree at the historical site of ruins that was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1980.
Kumar and his team also paid a visit to the Sikh Gurudwara Dera Sahib in Lahore where he was welcomed by the Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee Pradhan Sardar Sham Singh.
The Chief Minister was rather taken aback when Singh touched his feet saying "You are from the place where Guru Govind Singh was born."
"Patna is as a holy place as Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. I would show the same respect to even an ordinary person from Patna," Sham Singh later told the reporters.