ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla Thursday said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka need to make collective efforts to boost mutual trade relationship and search more avenues to increase trade and resolve the tariff issues.

In a meeting with High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid at Parliament House, he proposed that the trade agreements should be converted from Preferential Trade Area (PTA) to Free Trade Agreement (PTA to FTA) along with parliamentary relations to be revitalized by exchange of delegations at higher level mutually.

“We feel great attachment to Sri Lanka as we feel it's our second home", he said, adding that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been standing with each other in difficult situations on many occasions and there was a need to multiply the efforts to enhance existing relations between the two nations to take them to the optimal level.

The Deputy Chairman Senate said that as both sides have agreed on the need of enhancing trade between the two countries, measures should be taken to facilitate the businessmen and providing a conducive environment for this purpose.

He apprised the Sri Lankan High Commissioner about the human rights violations by the Indian forces in Held Kashmir and said that Pakistan was looking forward to Sri Lanka's support on this burning issue of Kashmir.

Both the countries agreed on making Parliamentary exchanges a regular feature and making parliamentary groups functional in both Parliaments.

The High Commissioner apprised the Deputy Chairman Senate that Sri Lanka to have general elections in December and the relationship between the two governments and the Parliaments will be a priority following assuming power by the new Parliament and government in Sri Lanka.

The Deputy Chairman appreciated Sri Lanka, as Sri Lankans donates large numbers of corneas both in their own country and abroad, partly because the donation is considered by Buddhists to be a meritorious act.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019