Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Sri Lanka: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the country is looking towards increasing business relations with Sri Lanka through the billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In his address after meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Khan said that the purpose of his first visit was to strengthen bilateral relations.
He said, 'This is to strengthen our business relations. Pakistan is part of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI), CPEC is its flag bearer program. Khan said that CPEC is meant to be connected to Central Asia. He said, 'We discussed about areas where we can increase our business relations, where Sri Lanka can benefit from Pakistan's connectivity to Central Asia in future. Our business relations also mean that both countries will go together.
Xi Jinping's ambitious plan
CPEC, linking Gwadar port in Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the ambitious BRI flag-bearer project of Chinese President Xi Jinping. India is strongly critical of the BRI as the $ 50 billion CPEC under it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Pakistani Prime Minister's Office said in a tweet that Khan and Mahinda met alone in 'Temple Trees', the official residence of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister here. It said that after this meeting, there was a delegation-level dialogue between Khan and Mahinda.
Will help Sri Lanka in fighting terrorism
Imran Khan said that Pakistan would be happy to help Sri Lanka in fighting terrorism. He said that tourism is a major source of development and growth of this island nation, but terrorism has hindered it. He said that Pakistan has also been a victim of terrorism and tourism has ended in the last 10 years and foreign investment is not coming due to the threat of terrorism. Khan, the first head of state to visit Sri Lanka after the Kovid-19 pandemic, will meet President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday.