High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood calls on Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik
High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood calls on Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik during visit to Bhubaneswar Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood visited Bhubaneswar on 9-10 December, during which he called on Odisha Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik. The High Commissioner’s visit to Bhubaneswar was undertaken in the context of the on-going visit of Pakistan national hockey team, participating in the Hockey World Cup 2018. During his call on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the High Commissioner congratulated him and the people of Odisha on hosting the Hockey World Cup. He also noted the progress made by Odisha in various fields under Chief Minister Patnaik’s leadership. Speaking about Pakistan-India relations, the High Commissioner underlined efforts for sustained dialogue and enhanced people-to-people exchanges. In this context, the historic initiative on the opening of “Kartarpur Corridor”, in deference to the long-standing wishes of the Sikh community, was highlighted. During the meeting, the possibilities for people-to-people interaction and collaboration in different fields with Odisha were discussed. In his subsequent interaction with the local media, the High Commissioner reiterated his felicitations to the people of Bhubaneswar and Odisha on hosting the Hockey World Cup and noted the contribution made by this international event towards the revival and growth of hockey in the subcontinent. Answering a question about possible hockey series between India and Pakistan, the High Commissioner expressed the hope that such exchanges would indeed take place in the future. Among other things, he said, such series would popularize the game among the youth and could help the two countries re-gain their past glory in the field of hockey. Separately, High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood interacted with the national hockey team and extended best wishes to the players in their World Cup participation. Besides the team members, those present included Mohammad Rizwan Sr. (Captain) and stalwarts like Mr. Hasan Sardar (Manager), Mr. Islahuddin Siddiqui (Chief Selector), and Mr. Tauqeer Dar, Mr. Danish Kaleem, and Mr. Rehan Butt. On 9 December, High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood watched the Pakistan-Netherlands pool match. The match commenced after the High Commissioner was invited to shake hands with the two Captains on the field and the respective national anthems were played. On 10 December, the High Commissioner hosted a lunch in honour of the national team. Senior members of the Pakistan contingent and team players expressed thanks for the support and facilitation extended by the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi during their visit to India.