The Pakistani High Commission, Colombo celebrated the National Day of Pakistan at a hotel yesterday (31). Minister of Trade Dr. Bandula Gunawardena was the Chief Guest. Ministers, Parliamentarians, Defence Secretary General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, Air Force Commander Air Vice Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana and distinguished representatives of the diplomatic community and international organisations, senior civil and military officials, Pakistani community and friends of Pakistan from Sri Lanka were also present.
Pakistani High Commissioner Major General (Retd) Umar Farooq Burki highlighted the significance of celebrating the National Day of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 23 March. The Pakistani High Commissioner also shed light on the centuries old relations dating back to the golden era of Gandhara and Buddhism between the two countries.
He said relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka stand firm. Strengthening bilateral trade and investment between Pakistan and Sri Lanka remains a top priority, among other important aspects.
Major General (Retd) Farooq Burki also mentioned the education scholarships that the Pakistani Government is offering to Sri Lankan students with the capital cost of approximately US$ 18.402 million, through which a number of them benefit each year in different Pakistani institutions.
A documentary showcasing the landscapes, business potential, historical footprint and culture of Pakistan was displayed for the guests. An exhibition showcasing the handicrafts of talented people of Pakistan was also part of the event. The guests showed particular interest in the hand-carved/painted wooden items that are a specialty of Sillanwali, a small city of Pakistan. The event ended with a sumptuous dinner which was preceded by a cake-cutting ceremony.