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Ontario Premier Gets Massive Welcome In Pakistan

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Ontario Premier Gets Massive Welcome In Pakistan

Dalton McGuinty Met By 1,000 Cheering And Waving Pakistanis

Office of the Premier

The first Ontario Premier to lead a business mission to Pakistan was met at the border by 1,000 Pakistanis, including an honour guard, cheering high school students, school girls waving Ontario and Pakistani flags, and a band.

"I know I received this reception not because of who I am, but because of who I represent: the people of Ontario, including more than 100,000 Ontarians who came to our province from Pakistan," said Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"The colourful display we saw at the border was a gesture of friendship from the people of Pakistan to the people of Ontario. The purpose of our business mission is to build on that friendship in a way that means jobs and prosperity for Pakistan and Ontario."

McGuinty and his wife Terri were greeted at the border by Chaudhary Pervez Elahi, the Chief Minister of Punjab. They were joined by Shafiq Qaadri, the MPP for Etobicoke North and the first Pakistani-Canadian member of Ontario's provincial parliament.

The Premier and the mission were then given a police escort into Lahore, where the streets were lined with ribbons and banners welcoming McGuinty.

Today, McGuinty speaks to a Research in Motion (RIM) information and communications technology seminar. RIM is the Ontario company that developed the BlackBerry and is looking to expand its use in Pakistan.

He will also speak to Pakistani business leaders at a dinner hosted by the Chief Minister, lay a wreath at the tomb of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, and visit the Badshahi Mosque.

Tomorrow the Ontario business mission to Pakistan moves to Islamabad where it wraps up on January 26.

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