| GEO Sports|
| Hosts handed Queen’s Baton Relay at Wagha Border|
| Updated at: 0929 PST, Friday, June 25, 2010|
LAHORE: The torch of XIX Commonwealth Games, Queen’s Baton Relay, has been handed over to host nation India amid a glaring and sparkling ceremony at Wagha Border on early Friday, Geo news reported.
A large number of Pakistan’s Olympians 12 Commonwealth gold medalists, government officials and members civil society were also present on the occasion at the memorable moment to convey a loving message in good will gesture and a message of peace under the joint venture of Indian media organization and Pakistan’s leading news giant ‘Jang Group’ named ‘Aman Ki Asha’.
An especial ceremony including national songs’ concert was held here to mark the memorable and glaring occasion.
A chain, made of handkerchiefs with peace messages enshrined on them formed by Pakistani children, also accompanied Queen’s Baton Relay, which was exchanged by a similar chain from Indian children in New Delhi.
The Relay Baton covered distance of 10 kilometers while being transferred to India from Pakistan.
Earlier on Thursday, on its way to India, the Commonwealth Games torch Queen's Baton Relay 2010 carrying the message of "Peace through Sports" landed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport.
A crew of QBR, including Ajay Choutala, Member of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Raj Qadian, Avny Lavasa, Louis Rosa and Asokan, reached here with the Queen's Baton relay.
Pakistan Olympic Association President Arif Hassan, Pakistan Baseball Federation President Shaukat Javed and other officials welcomed the delegation at the airport. Ajay Choutala handed over the Queen's Baton relay to the Pakistani Olympic chief with a message of peace. Strict security arrangements were made on this occasion.
Ajay Choutala, giving it to the Pakistani head, said they came with the message of love and peace. "Those problems which could not be solved during wars, can easily be solved on sports grounds," he added.
Ajay said he requested the Pakistani people to come to India to see the Commonwealth Games. "Both the governments of India and Pakistan should realize this and should follow liberal policies towards friendship," he added.
Ajay Choutala said he would request his government to give relaxation in visa policy to the Pakistani visitors. Ajay hoped, "Both nations can come close through sports activities and two sports, cricket and Kabaddi, are more popular in both countries".
Receiving the Queen's Baton, the POA president said, "This is a moment of prestige and honour for me as a Pakistani and we feel proud in receiving the Queen's baton."
He said that POA will arrange a dinner reception on Thursday at local hotel where it will hand over it to the Punjab chief minister as the head of the province. "The Queen's Baton will return to India on the morning of 25th through Wagha border to Indian counterpart Suresh Kalmadi," he added.
The torch has specially been designed on an 18 karat gold leaf, fixed on top of the torch. The relay, the largest of all the previous editions, is covering a distance of 170,000 km during its visit to 71 participating nations across the world. In total, it will take about 340 days to reach its destination.
The Commonwealth Games XIX will be held in Delhi from October 3-14. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif were the chief guest of the official dinner on June 24 while Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer would be the guest of honour during the transfer of the torch to the Indian Olympics Association president on 25th June.