A colorful reception to mark the 77th National Day of Pakistan was hosted by the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka on 23rd March, 2017 at Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo.
Minister for Public Enterprises Development Hon. Kabir Hashim was the chief guest on the occasion.
While welcoming the guests, the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain said each year, March 23, a yearning is reignited in the hearts of Pakistanis to nurture and uphold ideas and principles that enthused the Muslims of the Subcontinent to close their ranks in a remarkable act of unity becoming one entity to achieve their vision.
H.E. Shakeel Hussain highlighted that Pakistan’s economy is on the rise and is poised to become a regional economic power. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, manifestation of deepening bilateral relations between Pakistan and China will change the fate of the region in terms of socio-economic development. The mega project, once completed, will usher in prosperity and progress not only in Pakistan but also in the whole region including Sri Lanka, he underlined.
On Sri Lanka-Pakistan relations, he said that deep mutual love between our two peoples is the essential ingredient of this special relationship which is further cemented by the commonality of eternal values of universal peace and love espoused both by Islam and Buddhism. H.E. Shakeel Hussain reiterated Pakistan’s continued commitment and support to the Government and people of Sri Lanka in their endeavours towards their march for achieving a bright and prosperous future of their beautiful country.
While speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest Minister for Public Enterprises Development Hon. Kabir Hashim, said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations which are broad-based and multifaceted. He thanked the government of Pakistan for providing most sacred Buddha’s relics from Taxila for the veneration of Buddhists in Sri Lanka during the Vesak and Poson festivals. It was an honour for Sri Lanka to attend the first ever Vesak Festival in Pakistan from 29th May to 1st June 2016, he added.
Hon. Kabir Hashim expressed his gratitude for the support extended by Pakistan to the Government of Sri Lanka for grant of US$ 200 million credit facility, trainings to Sri Lankan armed forces, infrastructure development, relief assistance to flood and drought affected people, educational scholarships, training to Sri Lankan athletes, squash players and coaches etc. He expressed the confidence that Pakistan has been a true friend and the relations between the two countries will continue flourish for the betterment of our people.
During the event, a book titled “Pakistan – Sri Lanka Relations: A Story of Friendship” was also launched which is a joint publication as a sacred mission to bring both nations closer to each other by preserving the various pages from their modern history. The High Commissioner of Pakistan presented the first copy of the book to the chief guest.
The event attracted large gathering including Sri Lankan Government Ministers, Parliamentarians, officers of Sri Lankan armed forces, Diplomats, Sri Lankan government officials, Members of Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association, Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Council, Pakistani community and important personalities of the civil society and a large number of media representatives.