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“Mayor’s message of peace and prosperity”
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“Mayor’s message of peace and prosperity”

An international visit from London’s mayor gave Faisal Saleh Yaqub, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Lahore in Pakistan, opportunity to reflect on peace and cooperation as well as trade and investment.

Recently, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made a historic trip to India and Pakistan, on a tour that visited six cities in six days with the main slogan: “London is Open”. This slogan signified that London is ready to accept talent, investment and tourists from both India and Pakistan.

Mayor Sadiq Khan started his December 2017 trip in India, where he visited the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in three days. Concluding his visit to India, he entered the historic city of Lahore, Pakistan, through Wagah Border.

This event was of great significance because by crossing the border on foot, Mayor Sadiq Khan gave a message of hope, peace, prosperity and mutual cooperation to India and Pakistan.

His gesture clearly conveyed the aspirations of peace which he had seen in the eyes of most Indians. Being a Pakistani, I can also say that majority of Pakistanis, too, want good and friendly relations with India.

From the Pakistani side, I thank Mayor Sadiq Khan for his symbolic and historic gesture of crossing the Wagah Border on foot when he entered Lahore from the Indian side. I believe that it is high time that the governments of both states represent the true will of their people and heed the message of peace brought by the London’s mayor.

India and Pakistan both have the problems of poverty, hunger, food insecurity, illiteracy, pollution and climate change. The solutions to these problems lie in the concerted efforts made by both nations. So, instead of huge expenditures on the development of military and weapons, both countries must come together and resolve the mutual issues cordially.

Furthermore, the two countries ought to allow movement of people across the border, which is very much restricted and allows minimal traffic now.The visa application process must be made quick and easy. India and Pakistan also have huge trade potential which must be harnessed by establishing strong trade ties. Moreover, as propounded by Mayor Sadiq, both nations should enhance economic and cultural ties with the UK. Indeed, Pakistan and the UK have enjoyed very warm and cordial relations in the past and more needs to be done to deepen those connections.

It is pertinent to mention that on his trip to Pakistan, Mayor Sadiq Khan was accorded a very warm welcome, especially in Lahore. He thanked the people of Lahore for their hospitality. In his meeting with the Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, the CM appreciated the efforts made by UK in the socio-economic development in Pakistan through the UK’s Department for International Development. He also highlighted the opportunities for investment in Lahore, while the Mayor apprised the CM regarding investment options in London.The meeting ended on a very high note, with a consensus to develop strong ties between London and Lahore.

During his stay in Lahore, Mr. Khan visited the historical sites of Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort and attended a function at Alhamra Arts Council.  Besides Lahore, the Mayor also visited Islamabad and Karachi. His trip concluded with the announcement of some key investments from India and Pakistan into London. Indeed, London is a vital destination for business and a hub for global investment.

Mayor Sadiq Khan was able to make both India and Pakistan realise the importance of peace and prosperity while ensuring that London is open to talent, creativity, innovation, investment and tourism. I hope that this trip somehow bridges the gap between Pakistan and India that has been widened by years of hostility.

photo credit: East London Mosque . via photopin (license)

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About me: My name is Faisal Saleh Yaqub, and I am from Lahore. I am an engineering graduate from GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, KPK, Pakistan.

My hobbies include reading, writing, gaming and travelling. I usually write on topics related to social issues and youth. I believe that youth can change the future of any nation. I always strive to highlight the importance of youth as a game changer of today.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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