Islamabad, 7 September 2022 (TDI): Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari received a phone call from Mohamed Uvais Mohamed Ali Sabry, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka extended condolences on the loss of lives as well as the widespread destruction induced by floods across Pakistan.

On behalf of the Sri Lankan government, he expressed condolences to the government and the people of the friendly country.

Moreover, during the phone call, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari thanked his Sri Lankan counterpart for his words of support during these difficult times.

He also briefed Mohamed Uvais Mohamed Ali Sabry about Pakistan’s unprecedented rainfall this year, which caused super floods and landslides.

Also Read: USAID releases Pakistan floods fact sheet

The Pakistani Foreign Minister went on to say that the scale of destruction was massive, resulting in huge losses of human lives, livestock, crops, and infrastructure.

Along these lines, he further informed the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister regarding Pakistan’s prompt and extensive response to the natural disaster.

In the same vein, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari emphasized the importance of all-around international support for the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase.

Likewise, the Foreign Minister expressed hope that the ‘UN Flash Appeal’ for Pakistan’s flood response will elicit a strong response and contribute to alleviating the suffering of those who have been severely affected.

The duo also discussed issues of mutual interest and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations.

Floods in Pakistan

The worst floods in Pakistan’s history were caused by torrential monsoon rains, wreaking havoc on the South Asian nation of more than 220 million people.

More than 1,300 people have died so far, with floods affecting 81 of the country’s 160 districts and displacing at least 33 million people, figures that are expected to rise in the coming days.

Beyond the human losses, the country’s economic sector faces the most difficult task ahead, as floods affected the country’s road and communication networks, damaged an uncountable number of homes, and destroyed millions of hectares of crops.

Pakistan-Sri Lanka Relations

Sri Lanka and Pakistan first established formal diplomatic and commercial relations in 1948. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif stated in 2013 that the two countries had strong bonds of friendship.

Pakistan has a High Commission in Colombo, and Sri Lanka has a High Commission in Islamabad. Pakistan has engaged Sri Lanka by providing training and military exercises to its military officers, including former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Pakistan also offered intelligence gathering training to the friendly country. Pakistan has offered to train Sri Lankan police and State Intelligence Service (SIS) officers in addition to traditional military assistance.

Over the years, Pakistan has also provided military munitions as well as systems to assist Sri Lanka in its Civil War with LTTE.