Aug 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka and Pakistan have held discussions on strengthening the cooperation in water and power sectors and agreed to utilize the expertise of both countries jointly to address pressing issues in the sectors.
The discussions were held between the Pakistan's Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, who is visiting Sri Lanka to participate in the 2nd International Water Cooperation Conference, organized by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage in Anuradhapura from 15th to 19th August, 2013, and the relevant Sri Lankan ministers.
Pakistan Minister had a one on one meeting with the Sri Lankan Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Dinesh Gunawardena in Anuradhapura Saturday and discussed the issue of drinking water contamination and provision of clean drinking water to the people.
During the meeting, Pakistani Minister briefed Minister Gunawardena about various socio economic development projects undertaken by his government in Sri Lanka after the conclusion of internal conflict in Sri Lanka.
He especially highlighted the clean drinking water supply projects completed by the Pakistan government through its High Commission in the Eastern and North Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan Minister extended appreciation of his government for Pakistan's support throughout various junctures, especially the support provided by Pakistan during the internal conflict, and for the post-war development projects initiated by the Pakistani Government.
Minister Ali invited the Sri Lankan Minister and his team to visit Pakistan, to explore ways and means to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries especially in the water treatment and solid waste Management.
The visiting Minister along with the High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj General Qasim Qureshi also met Sri Lankan Minister of Power and Energy Pavithra Wanniarachchi at the Ministry of Power and Energy in Colombo.
The two sides exchanged views on issues of power pilferage and transmission line losses. The Sri Lankan Minister briefed Pakistani side about the steps taken by Sri Lanka to successfully mitigate transmission line losses and curtail power theft.
Pakistan Minister invited the Sri Lankan Power and Energy Minister to visit Pakistan for sharing of expertise to address the issues of Line losses and Power pilferage.
Wanniarachchi agreed to visit Pakistan in the month of October and expressed her interest in visiting various ongoing mega projects there. It was also decided that the visit of the Sri Lankan Minister will be preceded by meeting of technical committees on both sides.
Pakistan Minister also took part in an interactive session with potential investors and local power generation companies in Colombo last evening. Representatives of various small and medium hydro and thermal power producing companies attended the meeting organized by the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka.
He briefed the participants about the prevailing situation in the power and energy sector of Pakistan and various steps taken by government to address Energy needs of the country. The Minister informed that the newly elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has identified energy sector as a priority area and has initiated various measures to address the energy requirements on medium to short term basis.
The Minister encouraged the power producing companies to consider investing in the energy sector of Pakistan and assured them of Government's fullest support.