Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Government of Pakistan Meets President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Government of Pakistan, called on the President  of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa today at the Temple Trees in Colombo. This is the first ministerial level visit to Sri Lanka since the taking over of the new Government in Pakistan in June 2013.

Conveying the greetings from Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, to the leadership and the people of Sri Lanka, Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal thanked the President for the prompt help and support extended during the dengue outbreak in Punjab province during 2011. Briefing the President on the initiatives taken by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) Government, he said that despite the gravity of issues, the new Government was committed to resolving the menace of terrorism AAA+ Replica Watches UK and improving overall security situation not only within Pakistan but also in the region. The fault-lines in our societies are constantly being targeted and exploited by the outsiders to create disharmony and instability. Platforms should be created at national and regional level to promote interfaith and replica rolex communal harmony to mitigate the negative influences.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, felicitating the people and Government of Pakistan on democratic and peaceful transition of power, welcomed the Minister to Sri Lanka and said that he was looking forward to the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Sri Lanka in November for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting CHOGM 2013. Expressing his satisfaction, the President said that Sri Lanka Pakistan bilateral relations have stood test of time and strength of this relationship emanated from the people of the two countries.

Minister Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the significance of sporting ties in bringing the people of South Asia together. On his request the President of Sri Lanka agreed to revive cricket ties with Pakistan and said that a team will be sent to play in Pakistan shortly and Sri Lanka will help in breaking the barrier for people of Pakistan.

Conveying the desire of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to deepen economic ties with Sri Lanka, the Minister said that the two sides need to work closely to take the bilateral trade from US $ 400 million to over US $ I billion mark. The Joint Economic Commission may be convened at the earliest in order to propose ways and means to enhance and diversify trade and address the issues affecting economic and commercial relations.

Earlier today, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, also met the Sri Lankan Minister for Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa. Taking an overview of the economic and trade relations between the two countries, the ministers agreed to closely work together to achieve the trade target of US $ 1 billion. Furthermore, emphasizing the need to enhance the commercial links, it was agreed that new avenues will be explored to diversify trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The two leaders also decided to establish hotlines at the ministerial level for an urgent response to identify and eliminate any issue impeding the trade relations. Minister Basil Rajapaksa, accepting the invitation extended Fake Rolex Watches UK by Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that he looks forward to visiting Pakistan at a mutually convenient date.

During his stay in Colombo, the Minister will visit the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo, to interact with the representatives of the Pakistani community based in Sri Lanka. The Minister is also expected to visit the Norochchlai Power Plant in Puttalam District of Sri Lanka, where he will be briefed in detail on the operations and fake breitling working of a coal powered energy generation plant.

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