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Pakistan’s 79th National Day reception held in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: The High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo has hosted a reception at Galadari Hotel in connection with the celebrations of 79th National Day, said a press release on Tuesday.

Sri Lankan Minister for City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education, Rauff Hakeem was the chief guest on the occasion.

In his welcome remarks, Pakistani High Commissioner, Major General (Retd.) Dr Shahid Ahmad Hashmat elaborated that the foundation of strong brotherhood between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was laid in 1948 when the former Prime Minister of then “Ceylon”, D.S. Senenayake, had paid a visit to Pakistan.

Hashmat added that the relations would be further cemented by the commonality of eternal values of universal peace and love, espoused both by Buddhism and Islam.

While talking about regional security situation, Hashmat explained that Pakistan has demonstrated prudence and extreme restraint as a responsible state despite provocation by India.

He added that Islamabad supports peaceful resolution of all bilateral and regional disputes through meaningful negotiations and mediation.

He also appreciated Sri Lankan government’s support for promotion of peace and harmony in South Asia.

The high commissioner announced that the Pakistani government will be awarding 1000 scholarships to the Sri Lankan students in diverse fields and will undertake exchange of faculty members and students programmes.

He added that modalities are being discussed with concerned authorities to establish a world-class high-tech university in Sri Lanka under the auspices of COMSATS.

During his address, the chief guest Rauff Hakeem paid a rich tribute to the Pakistani government and its nationals for always being supportive to Sri Lanka in the time of need.

He recalled the robust relations between the two countries, saying that Islamabad and Colombo have always maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations which are broad-based and multifaceted.

The reception was attended by Speaker Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, ministers, members of parliament (MPs), diplomats, senior civil and military officials, as well as people from different walks of life.

A Pakistan’s National Day cake was jointly cut by the high commissioner, chief guest and the opposition leader.

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