Pakistan seeks to strengthen ties with Sri Lanka

190 views
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan is seeking to strengthen bilateral relations with Sri Lanka in various fields after the Rajapaksa family tightened its grip on power with back to back victories in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed his country’s desire to forge a strong partnership with Colombo as he congratulated Dinesh Gunawardena on his appointment as Sri Lanka’s foreign minister on Friday.

Qureshi said that he is looking forward to working closely to further strengthen cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“I congratulate @DCRGunawardena on his reappointment as Minister for Foreign Relations of #SriLanka. Looking forward to working closely to further strengthen cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka,” the Pakistan foreign minister tweeted.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have shared a mutually cooperative relationship over the years despite Colombo’s perceived closeness with New Delhi.

The recent victory of the Rajapaksa brothers, however, is expected to give a boost to relations as the family is believed to have some proximity toward Pakistan.

Apart from this, Pakistan had backed Sri Lanka during its decade-long civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Pakistan supplied the Lankan defense forces with military equipment and intelligence support at a time when most countries had imposed embargoes on Colombo.

In the field of sports, Sri Lanka and Pakistan always enjoyed a cooperative relationship. Despite a militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, the cricketing ties remained unscathed.

Apart from Zimbabwe, the only international side that has played cricket in Pakistan after the 2009 attack is Sri Lanka.


190 views