COLOMBO: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Colombo on Thursday and met with the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) commencing in the Sri Lankan capital on Friday.
The meeting has come under a cloud after the heads of India and Muaritius boycotted the summit over Rajapaksa's rights record and the way his army managed to gain the upper hand in the long conflict with ethnic minority Tamils in the north.
Nawaz though reposed his faith in Rajapaksa, with whose country Pakistan enjoys close ties.
A statement released after their meeting in Colombo on Thursday, read that Nawaz had expressed his confidence in the astute leadership of Rajapaksa, and that the Commonwealth will become a stronger and more cohesive organisation under the Sri Lankan head of state's leadership.
The premier reaffirmed that Pakistan being a democracy and a responsible member of the global community subscribes to the work of the Commonwealth for promoting peace through international cooperation, poverty alleviation through sustainable economic and social development.
Nawaz and Rajapaksa discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation and international matters of mutual interest in their meeting.
The premier congratulated the government and people of Sri Lanka on hosting the annual 53-member Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Earlier, Nawaz was received at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo by Leader of the House in Sri Lankan Parliament Nimal Siripala D Silva, Senior Minister for Municipal Affairs AHM Fawzi, Minister of Power and Energy Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and several members of the parliament.
Nawaz has travelled to Sri Lanka with a small yet high powered delegation that comprises of Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi.
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi are also accompanying the Prime Minister.
Nawaz recalled that he had represented Pakistan at the Harare summit in 1991 where the landmark declaration was adopted setting out the core principles and values of the Commonwealth. Pakistan is one of the eight founding members of the organisation. The theme of this year's Commonwealth summit is ‘Growth with Equity-Inclusive Development.’
Pakistan makes annual contributions to five heads of the Commonwealth namely Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC), Commonwealth Foundation (CF), Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC), Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
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@Arijit Sharma: The mainstream Indian media will obviously not give credence to the fact that, Naxalites and Maoists poses a serious threat to India. Here are some neutral media views.
ok here comes polio to our south........... one of the most progressive states of the country just few miles away from this disease now....
@ Alann Good observation dude!
When the whole world is criticizing Sri Lanka for it's human rights record, Pakistan is once again up to it's typical 'sail against the wind ' mindset . Though this attitude has landed it up in trouble in past. A word or two of concern on human rights issue by NS would have been good start for Pakistan towards becoming a part of international community. But he found better to use it to gain some diplomatic mileage. Btw what kind of mileage is he expecting? May be of getting some coconut and palm at 1 or 2 rupee lesser, that's it!
@Hello: "Mauritius is not mini india. There are Christians, Chinese and Muslims too." It is precisely because India has all those and more, unlike Pakistan, that Mauritius is mini India. India and Mauritius are inclusive, again unlike Pakistan.
Mauritius is not mini india. There are Christians, Chinese and Muslims too.
Mauritius is not mini india. There are Christians, Chinese and Muslims too.
@Adnan Siddiqi: Where can we apply for this license?
"The premier reaffirmed that Pakistan being a democracy and a responsible member of the global community subscribes to the work of the Commonwealth for promoting peace through international cooperation, poverty alleviation through sustainable economic and social development."
I see 5 different jokes in one single line there! Anyone else able to spot them?
Srilanka knows that by using tvs and hero motorcycles and using india companies petrol only they can survive...........pakistan can give them strategic assets only.......
mauritius is mini india...unlike muslim ummah of pakistan.......
@netizen: " ... More than 40 percent of Indian territory are controlled by these separatists/freedom fighters ... "
Did you read that Opinion piece published in ET recently about how delusional Pakistanis are ? If you have not, please do.
You need to read the real story mate, it is not as it seems! Indian ( including Tamil) people and politicians wanted to end of the LTTE and Prabhakaran. India blockaded escape routes, stopped all supply sources and frozen all LTTE finance sources and bank accounts. Finally India gave the green signal to Rajapakse only after the last ballet was cast in the on-going elections at that time in India.
The current boycott by MMS is a desperate attempt to please the Tami parties who themselves are opposed to LTTE!!! LoL!! rajapakse cannot survive without being in the good books of India - he as admitted this publicly many times. So no loss to anyone, only win-win.....
The joker inthe pack is Pakistan!!
Always expected negative and hateful comments from many Indian readers on this news. India isn't attending the meeting, so just stay happy. Why are you so concerned about Pakistan having any connection with Sri Lanka?
And for the attack on Sri Lankan Cricket team, yes it was a tragedy. But little would you know is the fact that the bus driver from Lahore who risked his life and was able to save the lives of Sri Lankan cricketers, would later on get welcomed like a hero on his visit to Sri Lanka afterwards.
So I guess Sri Lankans know about us in a better way.
Pak and SL are good friends, SL will never forget the help of Pakistan when they jointly defeated Indian sponsored terrorists
what could sri lanka hope to gain by patnering with a failed state? ok u will get some mangoes and textiles.... what else??? sri lanka should remember how pak treated them as guests in lahore 2009.... :)
With Pakistan being the role model for the world in tolerance, democracy and freedom of religion, Srilanka would be happy with this certificate from Nawaz.
concentrate on how to remove polio from the country. rest of all game latter.
Even, Sri Lanka's Opposition has boycotted CHOGM!
India and Muaritius boycotted the summit over Rajapaksa’s rights record and the way his army managed to gain the upper hand in the long conflict with ethnic minority Tamils in the north. It is more about a country sovereignty than about so called human right record. Sri Lanka had the right to prevailed upon and decimate the LTTE insurgency with outside help including Pakistan as well, which she did. Talking about human rights we all know about what is going on in Naxalite areas, Assam, Kashmir, Manipur. More than 40 percent of Indian territory are controlled by these separatists/freedom fighters. The problem in much huge in India compared to Sri Lanka. The only difference is that country is not abetting the freedom fighters unlike India which helped LTTE as a state policy. India's hegemonic designs stand defeated in this case also.
what a funny! no extra advantage will get pakistan!!!