LAHORE - A proposal to declare Sialkot and Bolingbrook, both business hubs, as sister cities after completion of formal procedures, The Nation learnt on Monday.

Official sources in the Punjab government told this scribe the mission's initiative of connecting Sialkot and Bolingbrook through Sister City Engagement has been well received by all quarters. The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, the District Coordinator Officer (DCO) Sialkot has also conveyed their willingness to go ahead with this relationship.

Bolingbrook is the 17th largest incorporated place in Illinois and is a suburb of Chicago.

After concurrence of both of the sides, the proposed text of the agreement will be prepared and naming of a street in Sialkot as Bolingbrook, in consultation with provincial and district governments.

The Punjab government would formally forward a summary to the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and after his approval, the process will be completed.

After formal declaration, Bolingbrook Mayor Roger C Claar intends to visit Sialkot to sign the Sister City Agreement. The Council General of Pakistan Chicago, USA has already made it clear that Bolingbrook, being an industrial city, with a sizable representation of the Pakistani community appears to hold great promise in Sialkot-Bolingbrook partnership. The Sister City agreement could open up new vistas of cooperation.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sialkot, supporting the proposal of the DCO Sialkot, has ensured complete support. He hoped the agreement would help improve business ties and create further synergies for cooperation.

Official sources further informed this reporter Bolingbrook and Sialkot have many areas of convergence in addition to their beaming and talented populations. Bolingbrook has a population of around 80,000 comprising 25,000 Pakistanis. The Mayor of Bolingbrook is a well revered friend of the Pakistani community.

Ever since his assumption of the Mayor's office, Bolingbrook is regularly holding a flag hoisting ceremony on 14th August for the last 23 years, sources held.

Earlier this year in April, the Punjab government signed an agreement of sister city relation between Chengdu and Lahore.