The Pakistani leader yesterday called on the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees and appreciated the arrangements made by the Sri Lankan Government for organising the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
Underscoring the need for enhanced exchange of Parliamentary delegations between the two countries to promote people-to-people contacts, Dr. Shah has said that such visits would help promote greater cooperation between the two Parliaments.
The Pakistani Parliamentary delegation which is currently visiting Sri Lanka to participate in the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Colombo also paid a courtesy call on Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa at the BMICH.
The delegation was led by 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 Seema Illahi Baloch and Deputy Speaker of Sri Lanka Chandima Weerakkody were also present on the occasion.
Dr. 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 organising the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
She appreciated the Sri Lankan Government’s success in eliminating the menace of terrorism, which resulted in bringing back normalcy to the country
Emphasising 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.
Sindh Assembly Speaker 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 would be achieved in near future.
The Speaker of Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan said that the people and Government of Pakistan were really grateful to the Sri Lankan Government for sending the team of medical personnel to help combat and control the spread of the dengue virus.
Speaker 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.
Deputy Speaker Weerakkody appreciated the support extended by the Pakistani Government for extending unflinching support to Sri Lanka during the three-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 Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament.