Colombo : The Pakistani Parliamentary delegation which is currently visiting Sri Lanka to participate in the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Colombo paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Hon Chamal Rajapaksa today at the BMICH Colombo, says a press release received here today from Sri Lanka.
The delegation was led by Hon Dr Nafisa Shah, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and Chairperson of National Commission for Human Development. Other members of the delegation included Speakers of Punjab and Sindh Assemblies, senators and Members of parliament.
The High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Sri Lanka HE Seema Illahi Baloch, and Deputy Speaker of Sri Lanka Chandima Weerakkody were also present on the occasion.
Dr. Nafisa Shah thanked the government and the people of Sri Lanka for the warm welcome and the hospitality extended towards the Pakistani delegation. She also appreciated the arrangements made by the Sri Lankan Government for organizing the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
She appreciated the Sri Lankan government’s success on eliminating the menace of terrorism which resulted in bringing back normalcy to the country
Emphasizing that the Government and people of Pakistan greatly value relations with Sri Lanka, she said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy commonality of views on regional and international issues and coordinate their positions at all forums including United Nations and SAARC.
She underscored the need for enhanced exchange of Parliamentary delegations between the two countries to promote people-to-people contacts. Such visits will help promote greater cooperation between the two Parliaments, she said. She also emphasized the need for further strengthening the linkages between women parliamentarians of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khoro expressed satisfaction over the volume of trade between two countries which has been doubled from US$ 140 million to around US$ 300 million in the last four years. He hoped that the figure of US$ 1 billion in bilateral trade will be achieved in near future.
The Speaker of Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan said that the people and Government of Pakistan are really grateful to the Sri Lankan Government for sending the team of medical personnel to help combat and control the spread of dengue virus.
The Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Hon Chamal Rajapaksa underscored the importance that Sri Lanka attaches to the special bonds of affinity that exist between the two countries, based on the rich historical and cultural interactions as well as the shared aspirations of people for peace, progress and prosperity.
The Deputy Speaker of Sri Lanka Chandima Weerakkody appreciated the support extended by the Pakistani Government for extending unflinching support to Sri Lanka during the 3 decade long internal conflict which immensely helped in the elimination of the menace of terrorism from Sri Lankan soil.
The two sides agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and stressed upon the need to work closely in the regional and global context.
At the conclusion of the meeting the Pakistani delegates presented traditional shawls (Ajrak) and souvenirs to the Hon Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament.