LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated the 71st Punjab Games 2011 here at the Punjab Hockey Stadium under the aegis of the Punjab Olympics. Senior Advisor to CM Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Education Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, MNA Nasir Ahmad Bhutta, Commodore Akbar Naqi, President Punjab Olympics Syed Shahid Au, office-bearers of Punjab Sports Board and a large number of players as well as spectators were also present there. Addressing on the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said that games are very important part of our life and Punjab government is fully encouraging promotion of sports in the province. He said that when our national cricket team returned to the country after showing the best performance in the semi-final match, he along with his ministers welcomed the cricket players here at the Allama Iqbal International Airport and a simple but impressive ceremony was also arranged in honour of them at Chief Ministers Secretariat. He welcomed the players of various divisions of Punjab and congratulated the management for holding this colourful event. He also thanked the sponsors of this event. He expressed the hope that the players from all the divisions of the province will display their best performance in this beautiful weather. On a demand by the management of the Punjab Games, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif also announced construction of a swimming pool of International standard in the city. The 71st Samsung Punjab Games is a huge event in which 26 games included for men and women taking place at multiple venues.