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Pakistan seeks to strengthen collaboration with Sri Lanka despite human rights concerns

Retired general Muhammad Saad Khattak, High Commissioner for Pakistan, met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday during a meeting in which he expressed a desire to strengthen cooperation despite ongoing concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

The areas of cooperation discussed include trade, educational cooperation, and sports diplomacy, with a special focus on promoting cultural heritage and religious tourism between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner was reported to have further praised the initiatives taken by both governments to promote religious tourism noting the recent visit of Buddhist monks to Pakistan and the product of a documentary in collaboration with Sri Lankan film producers to highlight Gandhara’s heritage.

This visit follows the release of a damning report by the UN High Commissioner on the deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka which noted the increased persecution of Tamils and Muslims. Prior to a vote on the latest UN resolution on Sri Lanka, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the country but failed to heed calls from human rights organisations to address the ongoing abuses against Muslims.

Read more here.

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