Pak-Sri Lanka relations key to promote cooperation in region: Nisar

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APP04-22 ISLAMABAD: June 22 - Interior Minister, Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and Former Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa Percy Mahinda Exchanging views during their meeting at Punjab House. APP

ISLAMABAD, June 22 (APP): 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.
“If poverty, natural calamities and socio-economic conditions
pose challenges to our ordinary people, the issues of terrorism,
volatile regional peace and instability threaten us at the state
level thus impeding our march towards progress and securing brighter
and secure future for our people,” the Interior Minister added.
He said the tenure of former president Rajapaksa had provided
the two countries with a solid base to further build on gains of the
past and broaden the scope of the existing relations by exploring
new avenues of cooperation especially in the areas of economy,
security, border management, capacity building of law enforcement
agencies, fighting illicit drug trade and human trafficking.
The two leaders also discussed regional situation. There was
unanimity of views that Pak-Sri Lankan relations and bilateral
cooperation needs to be further strengthened.
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.