CHoGM summit: As India, Mauritius boycott, Nawaz reposes faith in Rajapaksa's leadership

Nawaz says Commonwealth will become a stronger and more cohesive organisation under Sri Lankan President's...

APP November 14, 2013
Nawaz Sharif writing in the guestbook on arrival in Sri Lanka. PHOTO: PID

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).


netizen | 9 years ago | Reply

@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.

lol | 9 years ago | Reply

ok here comes polio to our south........... one of the most progressive states of the country just few miles away from this disease now....

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