Pakistan today said that it appreciates Sri Lanka’s support to promote peace in South Asia.
The High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo hosted a reception at the Galadari Hotel last night (Monday) in connection with the celebrations of Pakistan’s 79th National Day.
Minister for City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education, Rauff Hakeem was the chief guest on the occasion.
In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner Maj. Gen. (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat elaborated that the foundation of strong brotherhood between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was laid in 1948 when the former Prime Minister of then “Ceylon”, D.S. Senenayake, visited Pakistan.
He said the relationship between the people of both countries existed for over two thousand years and these relations are further cemented by the commonality of eternal values of universal peace and love, espoused both by Buddhism and Islam.
While talking about regional security situation, the High Commissioner explained that, despite provocation, Pakistan has demonstrated prudence and extreme restraint as a responsible state.
He also said that Pakistan supports peaceful resolution of all bilateral and regional disputes through meaningful negotiations and mediation. He also appreciated Government of Sri Lanka’s support for promotion of peace and harmony in South Asia.
Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat announced that the Government of Pakistan, through its High Commission, will be awarding 1000 scholarships to the Sri Lankan students in diverse fields and will undertake exchange of faculty members and students programmes. He added that modalities are being discussed with concerned authorities to establish a world-class high-tech university in Sri Lanka under the auspices of COMSATS.
During his address, Chief Guest, Minister Rauff Hakeem paid a rich tribute to the Government and people of Pakistan for always being supportive to Sri Lanka in the time of need. He recalled the robust relations between the two countries and said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations which are broad-based and multifaceted.
A large number of guests, including Speaker Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, several Ministers, Members of Parliament, Diplomats, senior civil and military officials and people from different walks of life attended the reception.
On the occasion, a Pakistan’s National Day cake was jointly cut by the High Commissioner, Chief Guest and the Opposition Leader. (Colombo Gazette)