Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharifs recent visit to brotherly Muslim country Turkey should be hailed as a welcome step in the wider economic context. We all know that Pakistan is a victim of 9/11 incident which has weakened us from within. We are the target of terrorism and a victim of economic compulsions resulting due to lack of energy resources. In this situation, there is a need to find new friends and cement new partnerships. Therefore, Punjab Chief Ministers Turkey trip is a step in the right direction. He has achieved many successes. Punjab signed multiple agreements with Turkish government in different fields like environment, education and trade. Turkey has agreed to set up a 150 Mega Watt power plant in Punjab, besides setting up a new university in Lahore and Turkish Fateh University will provide technical support for the improvement of education sector under a memorandum of understanding (MoU). It is also expected that Punjab will get necessary technical support and assistance in the field of solid waste management in big cities. We are living in an age of endless possibilities and economic cooperation. Yesterdays foes are becoming new trade partners and the world is experiencing new avenues of business cooperation. In this backdrop, a leader like Shahbaz Sharif is a ray of hope for the people of Pakistan. His zeal for reaching out to new regional partners in South Asia like China, Iran and now Turkey for bilateral cooperation will be especially beneficial for Punjab as it badly needs energy to run its industry. Punjab also needs more economic opportunities to provide jobs to the jobless. It is hoped that these tours will help the people and the province of Punjab will emerge as bastion of good governance. It is expected that his economic diplomacy will also help in improving other sectors like environment, industry and education. With his efforts for improving trade, agriculture and industry, he has proved that public welfare is the real fruit of democracy. And now, Chief Ministers of other provinces should also learn a lesson or two from the tireless efforts of Shahbaz Sharif which he is making during the last two and a half years to ameliorate the lot of the people. I wish national leadership should espouse this option of economic diplomacy in their foreign tours which are made at the tax payers money. QUDRAT ULLAH, Lahore, January 8.