COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Major General (retd) Syed Shakeel Hussain on Thursday said the relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka firmly stood on the pillars of mutual trust, respect and desire to promote friendship.
Speaking at the flag hoisting ceremony marking the 77th Pakistan Day at the High Commission’s premises in Colombo, the High Commissioner said that high level visits, exchanges and multiple institutional mechanisms continuously provided renewed vigour to propel and expend the Pakistan-Sri Lanka relationship to new heights.
The High Commissioner underscored that the government of Pakistan was engaged in Sri Lanka’s social sector development as well. Some of the projects being sponsored included construction of houses, schools and drinking water wells, setting up computer training centers, upgrading hospitals in rural areas, he added.
In addition, Pakistan had been providing educational and technical scholarships to Sri Lankan students over the last many decades, he said.
The envoy said the two countries were located at two global strategic junctions on the land and maritime silk route respectively that had always been the meeting places of global civilizations, trade and cultures. He said their importance had increased tremendously in modern times for promoting cultural, civilizational and trade dialogue among the world nations.
Shakeel Hussain said the relationship between the two peoples existed from time immemorial taking a firm shape through 2,500 years old linkages established during the golden era of Gandhara civilization.
The High Commissioner on the occasion also read out the message of Prime Minister while the President’s message was read out by Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra.
The High Commissioner highlighted that March 23, 1940 was the most significant day in the country’s history as on that day the idea of Pakistan was formalized as a political goal for the Muslims of South Asia in their struggle for obtaining an independent homeland for themselves.
It was with the immense sacrifices and tireless efforts of great forefathers that an independent nation-state of Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, he elaborated.
The High Commissioner also expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association for gifting 35 corneas to the people of Pakistan.
Shakeel Hussain conveyed warm regards and best wishes from the government and people of Pakistan to the government and people of Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner hoisted the Flag of Pakistan and cut Pakistan Day cake with children during the ceremony attended by a large number of participants from various walks of life including members of the Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association, Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Council, prominent Sri Lankan personalities, Pakistani community and wide section of media.