Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Thursday said that stronger Pak-Sri Lankan partnership was key to promoting greater cooperation in the region and strengthening regional platforms. During a meeting with former president of Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa Percy Mahinda and his delegation here, he said Pak-Sri Lankan partnership was also a bulwark against the challenges facing the region including, terrorism and poverty besides warding off any self-assumed notion of hegemony, a press release said here.
The Sri Lankan delegation included Mr Gamini Lakshman Peris, former foreign Minister, Mr Dullas Dhaham Kumara Alahapperuma, former Minister, Mr Wimmal Weerawansha, former Minister, Mr Lokubandara Udith Sanjaya and Mr Yoshitha Kanishka Rajapaksa.
Welcoming the visiting delegation, the Minister remarked that the former president Rajapaksa Mahinda was known to Pakistani people as one of their true friends who during his tenure, not just added great strength to the Pak-Sri Lankan relations but was also instrumental in diversifying this equation in all possible areas of mutual cooperation.
The Minister while expressing satisfaction over the steady and upward trajectory of Pak-Sri Lankan economic, political, socio- cultural and defence cooperation, observed “our relations spanning over six decades are characterized by spirit of sincerity, friendship, mutual respect, understanding and mutual cooperation for the benefit of our people.”
The Minister said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka faced challenges of similar nature and the strategic friendship between the two countries was critical not only to ward off hegemonic intentions in the region but also to fight the mutual challenges and issues.
Former president Rajapaksa thanked the Interior Minister and the government of Pakistan for the warm welcome that was extended to him and his delegation during his visit. He also expressed the hope that two countries would continue to follow the path that leads to greater cooperation and understanding in coming years.