By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi Wednesday said that people of Pakistan stood by their oppressed Kashmiri brethren and condemned the fascist Indian government for its inhuman treatment of its minorities, as manifested in the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, passed by Indian Lok Sabha. The President was talking to Ambassador-designate of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Major General (retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr, a press release said.
The President underscored that all high commissioners/ambassadors must highlight the true perspective on Kashmir issue and Indian oppression there. He said that Pakistan attached great importance to its fraternal relations with Sri Lanka, based on trust and mutual understanding. The warmth of bilateral relationship was reflected in the exchanges at the leadership level.
However, the current volume of bilateral trade between the two countries was not commensurate with the true potential, he added. The President said that there was a need to re-invigorate their efforts to realize the goal of enhancing bilateral trade.
He also highlighted the successful visit of Sri Lankan cricket team to Pakistan and said that the first international test series in Pakistan since 2009 would also revive international cricket here. He said that they took pride in providing scholarships to Sri Lankan students.
The President also highlighted that Pakistan was home to rich Buddhist civilization and heritage. Pakistan held Vesak festival every year, which was participated by monks and academicians from Sri Lankan, he added.
He also directed the ambassador-designate to work for promotion of tourism.
The President appreciated Sri Lankan Airline for operating on Karachi-Colombo and Lahore-Colombo sectors. This connectivity would contribute towards promotion of trade, travel tourism and people-to-people contacts between the two countries, he noted. He wished ambassador-designate a successful stay in Sri Lanka and hoped that his tenure would bring more vigour and energy to the bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said dichotomy of life in two sides of Kashmir was an eye-opener for the world as people in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan enjoyed full civil rights in contrast to their brethren in the Indian occupied valley suffering unending human rights abuse.