English cricket tour to help boost Pak-UK relations: PM

The Nation  |  Dec 06, 2022

 English cricket tour to help boost Pak-UK relations: PM
ISLAMABAD    -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday calling cricket a “common area of passion” between Pakistan and the UK, said the ongo­ing England cricket team’s tour to Pakistan would go a long way in building bridges between the two countries.

“Pakistan enjoys won­derful relations with Brit­ain and cricket is one of the factors… And this is one common area of pas­sion between Pakistan and Britain and that is crick­et. I think your visit would go a long way in building bridges,” the prime min­ister said addressing a re­ception he hosted in the honour of England and Pakistan Cricket teams at Prime Minister’s House here.

He said that the Brit­ains always supported the people in the cause of democracy and for their wellbeing by bring­ing investments through DFID in the education and health sectors.

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The prime minister con­gratulated the England team for the win against Pakistan in the first of three test match series but was also confident to say that the Green Shirts would make a comeback in the next match.

He said the visit of En­gland’s team after 17 years was a great moment as they had visited in 2005 when Pakistan was fac­ing an unbearable level of extremism and terror at­tacks. He said having sac­rificed thousands of lives of soldiers, personnel of the security and law en­forcement agencies, and ordinary Pakistanis, the country was finally able to “clean bowl” the terrorists.

The prime minister ap­preciated England’s sup­port to Pakistan cricket and appreciated the team for showing “wonderful cricket.” The prime min­ister also apprised the young cricketers of the past glory of Pakistan in cricket and mentioned Azhar Mahmood, late Hanif Muhammad, known as “Little Master” and Asif Mahmood who had earned great fame in the world of cricket. He said the Green Shirts had ex­hibited quality cricket in the recent past and hoped that they would continue to enhance their level to regain their place in the cricketing world.

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The prime minister, who also gave away souvenirs to the captains of both teams, appreciated En­gland Captain for his gen­erosity of donating his match fee to the flood vic­tims of Pakistan. This is perfectly in line with the British golden tradition of philanthropy, he said and conveyed his regards to Ben Stokes who could not attend the reception.

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