President Zardari here on state visit -Pakistani leader to strengthen solidarity and cordial relations
Posted on November 27th, 2010

by Manjula FERNANDO  courtesy Sunday Observer

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday evening on a four-day landmark State visit aimed at bolstering bilateral ties. This is his first official visit to Sri Lanka.

President Zardari was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Cabinet Ministers. The Armed Forces accorded a Guard of Honour to the visiting President, followed by a 21-gun salute. President Rajapaksa introduced him to his Ministers and the Services Chiefs. He is accompanied by 40 member team comprising Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Chairman Board of Investment Saleem Mandviwala, President of the Pakistani Chamber of Commerce, senior officials and top business figures.

The Pakistani leader is the first Head of State to visit Sri Lanka after the swearing-in of President Rajapaksa for the second term.

“This bilateral visit which is the first after eight years by a Pakistani Head of State to Sri Lanka will showcase the solidarity and cordial relations the two States shared during difficult times and now during a time of peace,” a senior diplomat told Sunday Observer.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited Sri Lanka in 2008 but his trip was in the capacity of the SAARC Chair. The last Pakistani Head of State to visit Lanka in a bilateral capacity was President Pervez Musharaff in July 2002.

The Pakistani leader will hold discussions with President Rajapaksa on Sunday afternoon prior to which Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris will call on him for bilateral exchanges. Foreign Minister Qureshi will hold separate talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Prof. Peiris.

The two Heads of State are expected to take up a gamut of bilateral issues including trade, investment and defence. “But the focus will be on the economic front,” a spokesperson for Pakistani High Commission said.

The discussions are also expected to touch on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Sri Lanka shares a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan that had been in operation since 2005. This is Pakistan’s first FTA with any country in Asia. Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in South Asia after India, with bilateral trade exceeding US$ 350 million.

On Monday afternoon President Zardari is expected to preside over a business forum, that will bring together top businessmen and CEOs of flagship companies to explore trade and investment opportunities across the two borders, at the Colombo Hilton.

His itinerary includes a signing of MoUs between the two federations of Chambers of Commerce in the field of Investment and Trade. He will visit Parliament on Monday where he will interact with Sri Lanka – Pakistan Friendship Association members and its President A.H.M. Fowzie.

Briefing journalists Spokesperson to the Pakistan President Farhatullah Babar said that the President’s four-day visit will focus on discussion on a host of bilateral, regional and international issues.

“The visit is aimed at further strengthening the bilateral ties between the peoples of the two countries which date back to the days of Buddhist civilization and have been marked by a shared interest in regional peace and stability and fight against militancy,” Babar said.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Seema Ilahi Baloch told reporters that the two countries already had cooperation in political, defence, culture and trade and the visit would deepen these ties besides strengthening people to people contact.

She said President Zardari would hold talks with Sri Lankan leaders on enhancing economic cooperation within the ambit of the Free Trade Agreement signed between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2002. Extensive discussions on tourism, cultural ties and media relations are also expected, she added.

She said Pakistan played a key role in helping Sri Lanka to curb the menace of terrorism. The two countries will extend cooperation in sharing experiences to curb terrorism and improve coordination for achieving greater success. A statement from the Pakistani Foreign Office described President Zardari’s visit as part of a long tradition of high-level contacts and exchanges between the two countries. President Zardari will also congratulate President Rajapaksa on assuming his office for the second term, after the overwhelming victory in the January 26 election.

7 Responses to “President Zardari here on state visit -Pakistani leader to strengthen solidarity and cordial relations”

  1. Sri Rohana Says:

    I take this as opportunity to write few words to our best friend in South Asia. Our best friends in this world are China, Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Arab world; Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan. Among all the friendly nations China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran have proved that they are true friends and have helped us sincerely and unconditionally when our most crucial time, when we fought with India trained, EU and NATO backed tamil racist terrorists.
    Pakistan is an extraordinary friend to us. They treat to Sri Lanka as a real friend. Pakistan never trained any terrorists against Sri Lanka. They never supplied any weapons to terrorists. They never invade our country. Pakistan never interferes to Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. They always respected our sovereignty. Pakistan never embarrassed us in world forums and promotes terrorists agendas against Sri Lanka. Pakistan never work for western agendas to embarrassed Sri Lanka.
    As a President of a friendly nation, Hon Pakistan President is deserved to have a real guard of honor from Sri Lanka (“not a rifle butt guard of honor”) All the delegates are welcome by Sinhala and Muslim community of Sri Lanka.
    Long live Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s friendship!

  2. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Two Sri lankan Muslims were arrested in India with fake Indian currency and they were printed in Pakistan. Muslims are the masters of “SEPARATIST” ideology in the region. Tamils followed the Pakistanis.

    Sri lankan Muslims whose mother toungue is TAMIL, but they got “their” EELAM longtime ago. Now they want a Pakistan in Sri Lanka in every nook and corner.

    Pakistan is one of the useless nation and a terrorist backer in the world.

    Sri Rohana have a good choice. Change your name to Ali Sardari and bomb all the Buddhist temples like the Pakistani backed Taliban did in Bamiyan!

  3. Sajith Says:

    Pakistan is a gone case. If Pakistan is Sri Lanka’s best friend that is bad. Sri Lanka may end up like Pakistan one day. Only the population growth is doing well in Pakistan.

  4. Sri Rohana Says:

    MUDali, I like Rohana name after 29th July 1987. That is after Vijitha Rohana changed the world guard of honors parade system from 29th July 1987 with a rifle butt honor to Rajiv Gandhi. So I don’t want to change it.

    MUDali this is an open challenge to you!
    You said that Pakistan is a terror state. But with Sri Lanka’s experience India is worse terror nation in the region. Every tamil separatists terrorists groups were formed, given military training and backed by Indian Government, tamilnadu state governments, and Indian Spy agency RAW. It proved red-handed. Can you say that India has not trained LTTE, TELO, EROS, EPRLF, TNA(tamil national army), EPDP, and PLOTE tamil terrorists.

  5. M.S.MUdali Says:

    India never trained LTTE but other groups were trained by RAW.

    LTTE was trained by MOSSAD in Tel Aviv. Who did pay the cost? JRJ paid the cost to train LTTE. The honeymoon of UNP and LTTE proved the fact.

    Further the RAW officer UNNI Krishnan who was in-charge of these groups was a CIA MOLE and informed J.R.Jayawardene on daily basis. Now he is in the Indian prison.

    Riffle Butt honor is still a disgrace for a country’s navy. Now SL armed forces are more deciplened than before. If you feel pride in this BUTT affair, I am laughing!

    Can you tell why Ranil &co carved out an area to a “Indian” trained terrorist group LTTE? Can you tell why Sinhalese still shut their mouth on Catholic Church which openly support LTTE?

    But you did not tell any thing about the Buddhist structures in Bamiyan and Taxila were destroyed by the Pakistanis and their Muslim criminal allies.

  6. mjaya Says:

    “India never trained LTTE but other groups were trained by RAW.” LOL

    http://www.hindu.com/2005/09/19/stories/2005091904731100.htm, its not me who says so, its Subramanian Swamy.

    Can you back any of your claims?

    BTW Bamiyan is in Afghanistan and it was the Taliban who was responsible, Taxila was destroyed long ago and not by the average Pakistani of today. In that case shouldn’t the average person of Britain be responsible for the atrocities done throughout the world under the British Empire??

  7. M.S.MUdali Says:

    In the 80s all the Tamil groups were known as TIGERS.

    Read the book of Mossad agent Viktor Ostrovsky! Then you know how much money JRJ spent to train LTTE.

    Taliban is always backed by ISI and Pakistan governments. American weapons reach TALIBAN through Pakistan and S/Arabia.

    Pakistan always an American ally. Sri lanka under UNP was an ally of USA. Both these governments simply allowed terrorists to be trained. But for what purpose?

    India was the target. Now every one know why LTTE went against India. Sri Lanka is always used as a base by westerners. Now Pakis are coming.

    Vatican, an ally of the WEST and a GUN trader, used the Tamil issue to attack India. Now Pakis come to Sri lanka. I hope soon Muslims in Lanka will ask a Pakistan in Sri lanka.

    If Sri lankans cannot stop their anti-India games, chances are there for an invasion by India. China or Pakis cannot stop it!

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