Pakistan Sri Lanka ties spiral up with time as the Geo-political development of South Asia tilting in favor of Pakistan. Sri Lanka and Nepal are the two countries with which Pakistan has sustained warm and cooperative bilateral ties in South Asia. Pak- Bangladesh ties also getting new momentum after both sides showed lukewarm for decades.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan recently paid a Two-day visit to Sri-Lanka where he met with the Sri Lankan president, Prime minister, and other dignitaries. Two South Asian countries which enjoy sustained and highly balanced bilateral ties, aim to further improve during Imran khan’s visit to the friendly island nation. PM Imran khan’s visit focusing on enhancing trade and investment partnership for the long term.
Pakistan is the most reliable partner of Sri Lanka in South Asia supporting each other shared stance on a bilateral level. Both countries are members of the SAARC organization as well as enjoying trust-based cooperation for decades. Most of the developing country’s foreign policy is keenly influenced by personalities, military or civil both country’s bilateral relations remain friendly and trust-oriented.
Despite some differences, both South Asian countries tried to strengthen their mutually cooperative relationship. Pakistan is the second-largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in South Asia. Convergence in both country’s interest is seen as an opportunity both in Islamabad and Colombo. Mutuality benefited bilateral ties adding new chapters in both country’s relationship.
Sri Lanka is one of the major importers of Pakistani military hardware Pakistan exporting ammunition, artillery, machine gun, even Pakistani made main battle Tanks already supplied to the Sri Lankan army. Pakistan still eying JF-17 thunder Fighter sale to Sri Lanka in near future. Pakistan proving training opportunities to Sri Lankan cadets in Pakistan’s top military academies. President Rajapaksa has attended professional military courses in Pakistan’s training institutions. Pakistan’s arms industry has been improving and getting popularity among developing countries due to its cheap prices and standard ground results.
Pakistan’s always support Sri Lanka in their thick and thin. In return, Sri Lanka behaved as a responsible partner in the past. During the 1971 Pak-India war, Sri Lanka permitted Pakistan’s airlines for refueling and landing facility that he helped Pakistan to sustain logistic supplies to Pakistan army in East Pakistan. During the heyday of civil war in Sri Lanka Pakistan staunchly support the Sri Lankan army to combat Tamil tigers. Pakistan supplied a huge amount of ammunition and other military equipment that successfully helped the Sri Lankan military to sweep out Tamil tigers. People of Sri Lanka considered Pakistan as a trustworthy partner in their hard times.
During his recent visit, PM Imran khan urges Sri Lanka to join CPEC. Great potential lies in both countries’ bilateral ties to expand trade relations under China’s massive investment and China East Asia policy in which China wants to promote trade routes, Seaports, and Web of economic opportunities. Pakistani Gawadar Port and Sri Lankan Hambantota potentially become twin sisters in the region. It will generate huge commercial and trade activities in the Indian Ocean region an important hot spot for future Power politics.
China pushing Pakistan to make good ties with other South Asian countries to create friendly, mutually cooperative relations except for India. China belt and road initiative massively relying on these countries political situation either they stand with China or against. China string of pearls strategy and to maintain maximum influence in the Indian Ocean region Pakistan and Sri Lanka giving ample strategic opportunity to Chinese Geo strategic ambitions.
Despite warm ties between Pakistan and Sri Lanka more improvement is the need of the hour to curtail India policy to isolate Pakistan in the world and particularly in the region.