Pakistan’s High Commission in Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies organise seminar on Political and Diplomatic Challenges

Islamabad, February 13, 2013 (PPI-OT): The High Commission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies organized a joint seminar on “Political and Diplomatic Challenges Faced by Nations During and After Conflicts Confined to Borders” yesterday at the Kadirgamar Institute Colombo, says a press received here today from Colombo.

The seminar brought together eminent personalities from both the countries to deliberate on the ramifications of conflicts on nations. The speakers from Pakistan included Mr. Riaz Khokhar, Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Senior Analyst and Dean Faculty of contemporary Studies, NDU Islamabad and Lt. Gen. (Retired) Hamid Khan, Defence Analyst.

While speakers from Sri Lanka included Mr. Nihal Rodrigo, Former Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary, SG/SAARC & Ambassador to China, Prof. H D. Karunaratne, of Colombo University, Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Head, Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Singapore, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, Dean, Faculty of Law, KDU & Commissioner, Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Major. Gen. Milinda Pieris, Chancellor, Sir John Kotalawala Defence University.

H.E Amna Baloch, the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan also addressed the audience and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development delivered the key note address.

In her brief address on the occasion H.E. Amna Baloch said that since Sri Lanka has eliminated the scourge of terrorism from its soil, the country is destined to be blessed with lasting peace and prosperity. “My confidence stems from the resolve and determination that I have seen in President Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan people, “she added.

She emphasized that scoring a political victory or winning a military war is not the only task that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have to achieve, but we have wars of greater magnitude to win – the war against poverty, disease, backwardness, imbalanced social order, political disharmony, and the list goes on. She further said that our struggle, to rise above the ordinary, and, to be among the developed comity of nations has just begun.

She urged Pakistan and Sri Lanka to seize this opportunity and work hand-in-hand to make this region, a hub of economic prosperity and social development.

While highlighting strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, she said that the two friendly countries share same dreams, same aspirations, and have similar values and most importantly, share trust and mutual respect and understanding.

In his address, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said that one of the most critical tasks of the military in the post war context is to win the hearts and minds of the people from the former conflict areas.

Dealing with other nations is yet another challenge a nation will face after an internal conflict and the emphasis placed by the international community on various issues changes over time, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

Mr Gotabhaya further said that “Today, the issue of human rights has become one of the most critical topics in the relationship between states. Militant groups can be very skillful in using their activists around the world to exploit these issues in order to create problems for the Government in the post conflict situation.”

Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonesekara Executive Director of the Kadiragamar Institute commenting on the Seminar said “it’s the first joint seminar we are having at Kadirgamar Institute with Pakistan and we are happy to collaborate with Pakistani think tanks in future and wish to strengthen our relationship further.”

The Seminar was attended by a large number of prominent personalities including the Commander of Sri Lanka Army Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander Sri Lanka Navy, Admiral Colombage, Commander Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Marshal HD Abeywickrama, Secretary External Affairs Ministry of Sri Lanka, Karunathilaka Amunugama, Mrs. Lakshman Kadirgamar, diplomats, analysts and a large section of media.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
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