LAHORE (HANDOUT) - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif desired the best relationship with the neighbouring countries including India.
He was talking to the Member of Upper House of Indian Parliament, Rajiya Sabha and former Chief Election Commissioner Dr Monohar Singh Gill who called on him, here Wednesday. Matters of mutual interest and bilateral relations between India and Pakistan were discussed in the meeting.
The CM said that relations between Pakistan and India have improved substantially during the recent years; however, there is a need to promote trade and economic ties between the two countries. He said that wars have given nothing but poverty, hunger and devastation to the people of Pakistan and India, and time has come to forget the bitterness of the past and take solid measures for the betterment of the people of the two countries. He said that Pakistan and India should resolve all their disputes including Kashmir through meaningful dialogue. He said that the PML-N government believes in strengthening of democracy as well as democratic institutions and decisions on national issues are being taken after taking all parties into confidence.
Dr Monohar Singh Gill said that he is very happy to visit Pakistan especially Lahore and has seen a pleasant change in the provincial metropolis. He said that there is no doubt that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has executed splendid development projects in the province.
Meanwhile, a high-level delegation led by Minister for Trade of Poland Tomasz Tomczykiewicz, calls on the CM. Ambassador of Poland in Pakistan Dr Andrzej Ananicz, Provincial Ministers Sher Ali Khan, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique, Dr Farrukh Javed, Advisor on Livestock Chaudhry Muhammad Arshad Jatt, Chief Executive Officer PEMCO Mumtaz Khan Manhais, Chairman Planning & Development and other officials were present on the occasion.
On the occasion, Shahbaz said that friendly relations spreading over decades exist between Pakistan and Poland; however there is a need to further promote economic and trade relations between both the countries. He said that Poland has vast experience and expertise in mining, engineering and energy sectors and Pakistan wants to benefit from experience and expertise of Poland. He said that there is a great scope of investment in energy, agriculture, livestock, dairy farming and mining sectors in Punjab. He said that investors of Poland should invest in these sectors and the Punjab government will provide all possible facilities to them.
Besides matters of mutual interest, promotion of cooperation in livestock, mining and energy sectors were discussed during the meeting. It was agreed to promote cooperation in livestock, mining and energy sectors between the Punjab government and Poland.
The CM further said that Pakistan is facing severe energy crisis and shortage of energy has caused irreparable loss to national economy. He said that energy crisis has badly affected industry, education, health, agriculture and other sectors. He said that the government is taking all possible steps for overcoming shortage of electricity. He said that a number of agreements have been made with local and foreign energy companies and investors. He said that facilities are being provided to foreign investors for investment in energy sector on priority basis.          
Shahbaz said that the Punjab government has made a comprehensive planning for executing energy generation projects from solar, coal and other sources for coping with energy crisis. He said that six sites have been selected in the province for generating energy through imported coal. He said that vast reserves of coal exist in Sindh and Punjab. He said that planning is being made for generating energy by utilising local coal.
The CM said that Polish companies should invest in mining sector and energy generating projects from coal and all possible facilities would be provided to them. He said that the Punjab government is working on Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Cholistan and executing 100 megawatt solar power project through its own resources.
Shahbaz said that China has offered investment in various projects in Punjab. He said that Punjab is hub of agriculture activities. He said that livestock and agriculture have great importance in the country’s economy and there is vast potential in these sectors. He said that the Punjab government is also establishing modern garments zone due to which garment industry will flourish and country’s exports will increase.
The CM said that after getting the status of GSP Plus, exports of Pakistan to European countries will increase and facility of GSP Plus will be fully benefited.  He said that vast reserves of coal exist in Salt Range in Punjab and Australian company has completed study about it. He said that Poland has expertise in coal mining and it can extend cooperation to Punjab in coal mining. He said that officials of Poland and Punjab should jointly evolve a strategy for increasing cooperation in livestock, mining and energy sectors.
Trade Minister of Poland Tomasz Tomczykiewicz said that his country is willing to promote trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan particularly Punjab. He said that cooperation in livestock, mining and energy sectors will be enhanced with the Punjab government. He said that he would play his due role for further promoting relations between Pakistan and Poland. He also extended invitation to the delegation of the Punjab government to visit Poland.
Ambassador of Poland in Pakistan Dr Andrzej Ananicz said that all possible steps would be taken for promoting cooperation with Pakistan especially Punjab in livestock, mining and energy sectors. Delegation of Poland included senior officials of Ministry of Trade and representatives of investment companies.