ISLAMABAD - Sri Lankan Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera called on Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Pirzada at his office located at Pakistan Sports Complex on Monday.
Pirzada welcomed the Sri Lankan sports minister and discussed matters related to sports. He said: “Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are enjoying cordial relations in different fields including sports and education. I am thankful to the Sri Lankan sports minister for visiting Pakistan along with his national team.”
Dayasiri Jayasekera said Sri Lanka and Pakistan have good relations and hoped the ties between the two countries would further enhance in future. “We will work together to bring both nations closer in other sporting fields as well.”
The SL sports minister requested Pirzada for provision of Pakistani coaches to Sri Lanka for enhancing the skills of Sri Lankan players in squash, hockey and kabbaddi. He also sought Pakistan’s assistance in developing and establishing squash courts facilities. Pirzada assured Sri Lankan minister of all-out support of Pakistan: “We are ready to extend each and every assistance to Sri Lanka in the field of sports. Pakistan Sports Complex has all sports facilities and we also have complete security arrangements in the PSB.”
Later on talking to media, Pirzada said Pakistan enjoys close ties with Sri Lanka. “The Sri Lankan cricket team’s visit to Pakistan gave clear message to the world that the country is peaceful and sports-loving country. I am confident that the sports relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will further boost.”
Dayasiri Jayasekera said he is very happy to tour Pakistan along with Sri Lankan cricket team after eight years’ gap. “The bitter and sour incident of 2009 in Lahore is still very much alive in our memories, but as highly close friends and Pakistan had helped us through thick and thin, we wanted to help Pakistan sports and especially cricket. The fans here suffered a lot and the players too due to isolation of cricket. “We also faced terrorism and we know the pain of not been able to host international matches and events. But we had made up our minds to help Pakistan cricket and long suffering fans in the best possible fashion. Our players were also very happy with the warm hospitality of Pakistani people. It is a meager effort towards restoration of international cricket in Pakistan, we will travel against to play here in near future,” he added.
The Lankan minister lauded the security arrangements during Sri Lankan cricket team visit to Lahore and urged other cricket-playing nations to come and enjoy the warm hospitality of Pakistani people. He termed Pakistan as completely safe for holding all kinds of sporting events.
Pirzada said the visit of Sri Lankan team has sent a very clear message to international community that Pakistan can host any given event in a peaceful manner. He hoped that after Sri Lankan team visit, the West Indies and other teams will also tour the country. “The way the match was conducted, the negative propaganda against Pakistan died itself. Our armed forces had given matchless sacrifices for the return of peace.
“The two countries, where Pakistanis feel at home, are Sri Lanka and Turkey. We have extended invitation to Sri Lanka to send their players to Pakistan. We have very cordial relations with Sri Lanka and we will fully cooperate with them in all the sports and expect the same from them in response,” Pak minister concluded.