Chandigarh, Nov.8 : In a gesture to promote brotherhood and friendship between people from both sides of Punjab in Pakistan and India, the 3rd Punj-aab Cup Golf championship was organized here recently.
Though the Indian Punjab team won the tournament this year, the highlight of the tournament was the warmth and camaraderie between players of the two countries.
Beside exchanging information among them about golf course management and coaching, the golfers and organizers enjoyed the cordial atmosphere.
Be it relishing the delicious Punjabi food or sharing jokes - the tournament provided a unique bonding experience. People from both sides of Punjabs took pleasure in interacting with each other, as the felt many cultural similarities among them. Many guest golfers brought their family members along with them to strengthen ties with their Indian counterparts and enjoy moments here. Meanwhile, a total of 38 golfers participated under different age categories. Of the two tournaments held so far before the present one, each side had already won once.
Last time, Pakistani team representing their side of Punjab had won.
Col. (Retd.) Zulfikar Rana, Gen. Secy of Punjab Golf Association, Pakistan, said: "Initially, this was planned just as a goodwill tournament. But now it has transformed into a serious tournament. Friendship will be the subject but golf will be the priority."
Besides, people at the lush Chandigarh Golf Club also had an opportunity to witness the third edition of Amateur Golf Championship.
S.K.Sharma, President of the Punjab Gold Association, India, said: "Losing a game is also a part of any event. Competition spirit should also be increased between India and Pakistan to improve the game. Such competitions have helped a lot to give exposures to participants who play with best players from both the nations. Secondly elite class participates in this game. So there are opinion makers also participating who can discuss the need of peace process between to nations during tournament."
Pakistani players expressed their desire to visit India not just to play golf but for much more.
Maj Gen. (Retd) Zafar Abbas,President, Punjab Golf Association, Pakistan, said: "This is the fourth time I am visiting India. Prior trips were very formal. But this time after crossing Attari border I travelled to different parts of India like the Golden temple, Luhiana, Jalandhar, Agra, Delhi, Jaipur meeting all types of people." Col. (Retd.) H. S. BAIDWAN, member of the Indian team, said: "It's a great feeling when you meet someone from your birthplace. I feel very good when people especially ladies of India and Pakistan are meeting here and discussing their culture and traditions."
Golfers from both sides agreed that sports are a great way to facilitate exchanges and interactions between the people of two nations.
The Punj-aab Cup Golf Tournament is the brainchild of Punjab Golf Association in Chandigarh. This peace initiative was started in 2006. By Sunil Sharma