Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sri Lanka, Pakistan to deepen bilateral ties

Sri Lanka, Pakistan to deepen bilateral ties

Colombo, Dec 3: Sri Lanka and Pakistan have agreed to deepen bilateral ties and cooperation in several sectors, following discussions between a visiting Pakistani minister and the new Sri Lankan leaders, local media reported here Tuesday, reports Xinhua. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday for an official visit. On Monday he met with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed deepening bilateral ties between the two countries, a statement released by the Foreign Ministry said. During discussions with President Rajapaksa, Qureshi said that Pakistan has close relations with Sri Lanka and it hopes to widen the scope of cooperation between the two countries to include trade, investment, defense, tourism, and multi-industry capacity building. They also discussed preserving Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan, fighting terrorism, and combating drug trafficking in the region. Another report from Colombo adds: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed a committee investigating the Easter Sunday terror attacks to expedite their probe to identify all those who were responsible for the attacks and produce them before the law, a statement released by the president's office said here Tuesday. President Rajapaksa in discussions with members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) to investigate and inquire into the Easter Sunday terror attacks, said there was an urgent need to identify roots and modalities of the April 21 suicide attacks and uncover all information related to the attacks. The president said the security situation was continuously reviewed with intelligence officers. "If there was any information that threatened national security, necessary action was taken in no time. That was how we were able to deport 160 preachers who were propagating extremist ideas," the president informed the PCoI. The president further requested the PCoI to make recommendations to prevent recurrence of such tragedies, adding that maintaining national security was of utmost importance. President Rajapaksa also offered to provide all necessary facilities required by the special commission. Over 250 people were killed in the April 21 suicide attacks which targeted three churches and three luxury hotels across the Island country. A local extremist group named the National Tawheed Jammaat were identified to be responsible for the attacks, the police said.

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