Talking to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and his delegation comprising Minister of Budha Sasena, Justice and Labour Relations Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Senior Monks, Civil Servants and Academicians, he said that recent high-level exchanges have been very productive and are a testimony of dynamic cooperation between the two countries.
The President said that both the countries need to increase their cooperation in the security and economic fields to further cement the friendly relations.
Jayasooriya appreciated the efforts of the Government of Pakistan for the preservation of Buddhist heritage and historical sites in Pakistan, as well as for the cooperation being extended to the visiting Buddhist delegates.
He said that that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations which are broad-based and multifaceted. He hoped that increased interaction at the government and people to people level will further consolidate the relationship between the two friendly countries.
Earlier the delegation visited the world famous Khewra Salt mines which are world’s second largest source of edible salt located in Jhelum District, with estimated salt reserves of 600 million tons.
Khewra Salt mine having total length of 300 km, width from 8 to 30 km and height from 2200ft to 4990ft, has also been called the ‘Natural Museum on the Earth’.
The Sri Lankan delegates took keen interest in various sculptures of famous monuments of Pakistan prepared by salt rock inside the 17 storied mines, including Minar-e-Pakistan, Faisal Mosque, sheesh Mahal.
The delegates were given a guided tour of the mines and the Asthma resort center. According to scientific rules and regulations 50 % of the salt is taken from the mines for consumption while the rest of 50 %, is left over so that it can work as a pillar to give support to the mine range.
The high level delegation of Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks and eminent scholars is currently in Pakistan for a week-long visit aimed at introducing the rich Buddhist Gandhara heritage of Pakistan to the people of Sri Lanka as well as to revive the Gandhara trail. (Colombo Gazette)