Pakistan ready to extend its cooperation in defense, trade, people-to-people relations, countering extremism, promoting religious harmony and in any other area Sri Lanka would need. This was assured by the Pakistan High Commissioner Major General (Retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak when he met with President Gotabaya today (24) at the Presidential Secretariat.
As the two countries are already enjoying good security cooperation, the High Commissioner explained that he is concentrating on promoting trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The Pakistan HC is already in the process of organizing a conference and a seminar this coming April where the business communities from the two countries can interact.
High Commissioner Saad Khattak also noted that the Higher Education sector in Pakistan is currently offering 1,000 full scholarships to Sri Lankan students for the field of medicine, engineering and IT. This program has already been give wide publicity in the Sri Lankan mainstream media inviting prospective students to apply. The Pakistan Higher Education authorities will soon come to Sri Lanka to interview these applicants. Besides, this scholarship program, Pakistan is also keen to offer scholarships to Sri Lankan students studying in their own country in terms of monetary fund, elaborated the High Commissioner.
Even during President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s tenure, Pakistan offered scholarship programs as these, recalled President Rajapaksa. This was extended to children of servicemen and especially those who had sacrificed their lives for the country.
President and the High Commissioner also spoke of the need for better cooperation in immigration. This will facilitate the two countries’ efforts in controlling the movement of those with questionable records.
President Rajapaksa also commended Pakistan for the excellent work done in promoting Taxila, an ancient institute of higher learning and promised to extend Sri Lanka’s support in this regard.
Dr P.B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the President and Tanvir Ahmad, Deputy High Commissioner and Ayesha Abu Bakr Fahad, Second Secretary (Political) of the High Commission were also present.