Khan tells Mahinda Pakistan values its ties with Sri Lanka

Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa that Pakistan values its relationship with Sri Lanka.

Speaking during bilateral discussions with Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today, Khan recalled his visit to Sri Lanka as a cricketer.

He also recalled the support given by Pakistan to Sri Lanka to defeat terrorism.

Imran Khan said that Pakistan wants to learn about promoting tourism from Sri Lanka.

He said that he had once visited a resort in the south of Sri Lanka and noted that Pakistan does not have resorts.

Khan noted efforts being taken to promote Buddhist pilgrimage in Pakistan. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan also invited Rajapaksa to visit Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Pakistan continues to be a valuable bilateral partner, and Sri Lanka considers Pakistan a close and genuine friend.

“Our People hold Pakistan in very high esteem. Pakistan was a friend who stood by and helped Sri Lanka in times of great need. We are grateful for the steadfast support, particularly during my Presidency, when we had to fight a dangerous terrorist organization that was fully neutralized in May 2009,” he said.

Rajapaksa noted that Sri Lanka is grateful to Pakistan for agreeing to open the pilgrimage corridors for Sri Lankans to visit ancient Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan.

“Sri Lanka believes that political stability and regional peace will be the key to achieve sustainable development, economic growth and prosperity in South Asia,” he added.

In talks held today, Pakistan and Sri Lanka agreed to continue with the current mechanism to curb illegal drug trafficking, arms smuggling and other illegal activities by sharing information through the relevant agencies. (Colombo Gazette)