LAHORE - The National Horse and Cattle Show has marked the start of spring season, bringing happiness and prosperity to farmers, industrialists and general public, President Mamnoon Hussain said on Thursday while inaugurating the show held at Fortress Stadium, after a long gap of 11 years.

The ceremony started with recitation of the Holy Quran and national anthem.

Addressing the festival, the president said the show was the sign of development, which ultimately ensures end of terrorism and extremism. “Operation Zarb-e-Azb is being carried on successfully and would continue till elimination of the last terrorist,” he added.

Punjab Acting Governor Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Punjab Chief Minister's Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Punjab Rangers Director General Major General Khan Tahir Javed Khan, officials, students and a large number of people from different walks of life attended the inaugural ceremony of the show that will last till March 8.

Mamnoon also said that 15 new electricity projects were being initiated in collaboration with China and the World Bank, which would help overcome loadshedding within next three years. “With new dams being constructed, Pakistan will have a raised capacity of water reservoirs in near future, which will subsequently help increase country's agricultural yields,” he added.

The president further said that robust crops, agri produces and availability of adequate energy would definitely ensure development in all sectors of economy, thus enabling farmers, livestock farmers, industrialists and traders to celebrate the spring festivity with more pomp and show.

Mamnoon also mentioned vital project of Pak-China Economic Corridor, saying that it would not only usher in a new era of development and prosperity in the country but also in the entire region. Therefore, its timely completion was utmost necessary, he added.

The Pak-China Economic Corridor Project would not affect adversely any part of the country, he said, and called upon the people to play their role in maintaining a cordial atmosphere. He said that the struggle and quest could make a hard target achievable, adding China became second biggest economy of the world through struggle and persistent efforts.

Following its neighbouring friend, he said, Pakistani nation would have to renew its pledge to eliminate corrupt elements and practices, and "if we succeed to do that, Pakistan would not be facing any more crisis or problems as on today."

The president said that the livestock sector was an important component of economic growth and Punjab government had made commendable work for promotion of this sector. However, he called for making more efforts in this direction.

The show featured Unity Folk Dances by students clad in traditional and regional dresses representing cultural facets of all the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK; horse riders formation; cattle show; cultural floats showing traditional lifestyles of various parts of the country; horse and camel tent-packing, Military Police motorbike riding stunts; hound dog race; dog jumping; Pak Rangers special drill/parade; performance by Pak Army band squad and Pak Rangers camel band squad.

In the evening functions, children presented special songs, while bands of Army and Punjab Rangers played beautiful tunes. Tent pegging was held at the stadium, which was highly appreciated by the audience. Beautiful floats depicting cultures of all the provinces attracted the people.

Ranger jawans also presented “Mashal Parade” and different scenes through various formations and displayed firework.

The acting governor presented a memento to President Mamnoon Hussain, while Punjab Information Secretary presented a photo album of his visit to Lahore.