Apr 08, Colombo: A top Pakistani defense official visiting Sri Lanka said ending the near three-decade-long war from which Sri Lanka suffered immensely is a "great achievement of the nation."
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) of Pakistan General Rashad Mahmood made this comments when he called on Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this afternoon.
The CJCSC is visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of his counterpart General Jagath Jayasuriya from 7-11 April 2014.
Speaking further about Pakistan's similar experiences, General Mahmood said, "No other country understands better the sacrifices your country has made. Your success has a greater impact in the wider region. It's a very big story that the rest of the world can learn from."
The CJCSC commended President Rajapaksa on the post-war developments in the North. "Your achievements have been very substantive on that," he said adding that one should look to the future.
During the meeting, General Mahmood conveyed best wishes and warm regards from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, to President Rajapaksa, as well as to Government and people of Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Qasim Qureshi, who accompanied Gen. Mahmoud, also commented on the development he saw in the Northern Province when he visited the region immediately before the provincial elections in September of last year.
"I was very impressed by all the things that are happening there," Maj. Gen. Qureshi said.
Gen. Mahmood, while conveying to President Rajapaksa the best wishes of the Pakistani President and Prime Minister, said the two countries and the armed forces share a very strong relationship, adding that he hopes the relationship can further strengthen into other areas of cooperation as well.
He also didn't fail to extend to Sri Lanka his "profound congrats on winning the T20 Cricket World Cup" a few days ago.
Gen. Mahmood also reiterated Pakistan's continuous and unflinching support to Sri Lanka at all forums.
Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya was also in attendance at the meeting with the President.
The Pakistani defense official also called on Sri Lankan Minister for External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris.
The Minister also greatly appreciated Pakistan’s support during the UNHRC session and briefed the General on various developments related to the UNHRC process in Geneva. Other issues of mutual interest also came under discussion. It was agreed that the economic relationship between the two countries need to be further expanded and strengthened.
Earlier in the day, the CJCSC reviewed ongoing defence collaboration, besides identifying new areas to further deeper and broaden the already strong defence relationship with his counterpart Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya.
General Rashad also visited the National War Memorial and laid a wreath to honor all those who sacrificed their lives during the long struggle against terrorism.
(Photos by Nalin Hewapathirana)