COLOMBO: Pakistani High Commissioner (HC) in Sri Lanka Maj Gen ® Syed Shakeel Hussain said that intensified engagements and undertaken substantive measures will further deepen and broaden the economic and political relationship between the two countries.

HC Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Syed Shakeel Hussain stated this while speaking at a dignified ceremony held at High Commission of Pakistan inSri Lanka on Wednesday in connection with the 76th National Day of Pakistan. The event was celebrated by the High Commission and the Pakistani community based in Sri Lanka with traditional fervor and resolves to make Pakistan a strong, vibrant, progressive and democratic Islamic welfare state.

The High Commissioner hoisted the national flag while the national anthem was also played. Later, the messages of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out by the Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra to the participants.

Speaking on the occasion, HC Shakeel Hussain expressed satisfaction on the traditionally close and mutually beneficial relationship between the two friendly nations in all fields. He explained that the relationship is broad-based and multifaceted covering diverse fields like diplomatic, political, commercial, defense, people to people contacts and cultural exchanges. The process of bilateral cooperation has been greatly assisted by increased interaction both at the level of people and the highest government functionaries of the two countries, he added.

The High Commissioner noted that Government of Pakistan is engaged in Sri Lanka’s social Sector development process. Some of the projects being sponsored include construction of schools, hospitals, houses for IDPs, clean drinking water supply projects, livelihood generation, setting up computer training centers, upgrading health in rural areas and providing scholarships to needy children.

On Pakistan-Sri Lanka economic relations, the High Commissioner elaborated that the two sides are in process of refining the Free Trade Agreement, expanding the portfolio of trade able items and encouraging bilateral investment. He said that the recently concluded Pakistan Single country Exhibition in Colombo has contributed in promoting Pakistan – Sri Lanka economic relations by diversifying the existing trade patterns.

He said that the Government of Pakistan is actively engaged with all neighboring countries in an effort to create a peaceful neighborhood, at the same time intensifying economic engagement with all friendly countries. 

The High Commissioner also extended sincere greetings and best wishes on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan to the government and people of Sri Lanka and the international community.

The National Day of Pakistan is celebrated every year on the 23rd March to commemorate the most outstanding achievement of the Muslims of South Asia who passed the historic “Pakistan Resolution” on this day at Lahore in 1940 which culminated in creation of New Country-Pakistan after 7 years.

The ceremony was attended by the members of Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council, Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship trade and investment Association, Government functionaries, Ambassadors, prominent Sri Lankan personalities, Pakistani community in Sri Lanka and people from various walks of life including a large section of media.