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Building Peace and Solidarity in South Asia: Cricket Brings Together Union Leaders from Same Company

Sulakhan Singh,(fourth from right) General Secretary of Nestle Moga Factory Union (Punjab, India) with union leaders from the Nestle Shiekhupura Factory (Pakistan).
Report from the IUF Pakistan Office

Cricket is the most popular sport in India and Pakistan. Over the last few years the peace process between Pakistan and India has been strengthened through the exchange of hundreds of thousands of people traveling across the borders of the two countries. Cricket fans have also used the opportunity to see cricket matches in both countries.

In January 2006 a series of one day and test matches was played among the two countries in Pakistan. Lahore was the venue for both test and one day matches. Mr. Sulakhan Singh, General Secretary of Nestle Moga Factory Union (Punjab state, India) and his friends were among the thousands of spectators who journeyed to Pakistan.

One day during the cricket matches Mr. Sulakhan Singh visited the Nestle Shiekhupura factory which is some 40 km from Lahore. At the main gate he told the security people that he had come from India and would like to meet the union leaders of the Nestle Factory. It was a surprise for the union representatives at Shiekhupura factory. They paid a warm welcome to the General Secretary from an Indian Nestle factory. An informal meeting was held between the union representatives and they discussed working conditions, management policies and the general situation of workers. The Indian union leader invited the Pakistani leaders to visit India.

A cricket team from Nestle Moga factory visited Shiekhupura factory from 29th April to 1st May 2006. The team played two friendly matches with Shiekhupura factory on 30th April. The Nestle Shiekhupura union leaders and members gave a warm welcome to the brother workers from India.

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