Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived right here on Tuesday on his maiden go to to the island nation throughout which he’ll maintain wide-ranging talks with prime Sri Lankan management on varied points reminiscent of commerce, defence and know-how. Khan, who’s the primary head of state to go to Sri Lanka because the COVID-19 pandemic, will maintain conferences with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He can even lead delegation-level talks, protecting all areas of cooperation between the 2 international locations, together with commerce, funding, well being, training, agriculture, science and know-how, along with defence and tradition tourism.
Khan can even take part in a joint ‘Commerce and Funding Convention’ aimed toward selling commerce and funding between the 2 international locations. A variety of agreements to boost bilateral cooperation will probably be signed through the go to.
That is Khan’s first go to to Sri Lanka after assuming the workplace in 2018.
His final go to to Sri Lanka was in 1986 when he was the captain of Pakistan cricket group through the acrimonious Check collection the place he accused the native umpires of bias.
That is the primary go to by a Pakistan prime minister to Sri Lanka since Nawaz Sharif visited the nation in 2016.
Forward of his go to, the Sri Lankan authorities final week cancelled Khan’s deliberate speech to Parliament, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s mentioned that the speech to Parliament had been included in Khan’s itinerary on the Pakistan authorities’s request. The deal with was scheduled for February 24.
Daybreak newspaper quoting Sri Lankan media stories mentioned that there have been parts throughout the Sri Lankan authorities, who didn’t need the speech to happen as they feared that doing so may additional hurt ties with India, which have already been strained after the cancellation of a deal over the East Container Terminal in Colombo port.
Khan’s go to additionally coincides the present controversy over the pressured cremations of the island’s minority Muslim group members who die because of the COVID-19. The federal government continues its coverage of pressured cremations regardless of objections from rights teams.
Khan congratulated Sri Lanka earlier this month when Prime Minister Mahinda made a remark in parliament that burials could be allowed for Muslim victims of COVID-19. Nonetheless, the choice is but to be applied.
Worldwide rights group Amnesty Worldwide in an open letter to Khan had urged him to take up the problem of pressured cremations with Sri Lankan leaders throughout his go to.
“We urge you to lift this situation of pressured cremations on the highest ranges attainable throughout your go to to Sri Lanka, in solidarity with a minority group who has been stripped of any technique of recourse. We urge you to name upon the Authorities of Sri Lanka to cease pressured cremations and to deliver to an finish discrimination confronted by the Muslim group in Sri Lanka,” the letter mentioned.