Without the cooperation and help of Pakistan by virtue of defense relations, Sri Lanka could never get rid of terrorism it had been facing during the previous decades, said EAS Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka.
She was addressing a seminar organized by Department of Politics and International Relations of International Islamic University (IIU) held at Faisal Masjid Campus of the varsity, the Pakistan Observer reported.
“Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy best defense relations,” she said adding that both countries would further enhance bilateral ties in future by virtue of recent MOUs between both the countries in the fields of sports, shipping, tourism, economic development, anti-narcotics, defense and disaster management.
The Sri Lankan Acting High Commissioner furthered that Pakistan and Sri Lanka were important partners not only in promoting bilateral trade and economic interactions but also in enhancing regional economic integration.
She said that Pakistan was the second largest trading partner in SAARC region and Sri Lanka had been the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan. She added that trade between the two countries was expected to increase upto US$ 1 Billion.
Speaking on the occasion, IIU President Dr. Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh highlighted the importance of the programme while terming it “a healthy activity” he emphasized that such activities be arranged more frequently and hoped that it would help the students broaden their exposure.
He stressed that the IR students must be fully aware of the global as well as indigenous dynamics especially governing system and international ties of different countries. He appreciated the department for organizing the program.
Dr. Manzoor Khan Afridi, Head of the Department said that Pakistan was helping Sri Lanka in educating its students on military affairs and the MOUs between the two countries should further enhance the mutual cooperation. “Thirty Sri Lankan students would join IIU soon for higher studies,” said Dr. Afridi.
Earlier, Wijayanthi Edirisinghe and Dr. Al-Draiweesh discussed issues of mutual interest and educational cooperation during a meeting held at office of Dr. Al-Draiweesh.
The meeting was also attended by the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. Nabi Bux Jummani who apprised that a Sri Lankan university was interested in MOUs with IIU. On the occasion, the Acting High Commissioner and The IIU President agreed that steps to enhance bilateral educational ties would be taken.
Wijayanthi Edirisinghe assured that she would be pleased to liaise with the universities of her country about the unprecedented vision of IIU and to encourage bilateral relations between IIU and Sri Lankan universities. Dr. Al-Draiweesh, while briefing about IIU and its vision said that IIU, following rich Islamic values, had been working for promotion of peace and developing enlightened and tolerant minds, for there was no place for terrorism in Islam. He said that violent attitudes could be curbed through education only. (Colombo Gazette)