Press release: Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship Association strengthening the bonds of friendship between peoples of Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Jan 14, Colombo: The 40tth annual general meeting of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship Association (SLPFA) was held today at 6.00 pm at the Automobile Association of Ceylon Auditorium.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka HE Seema Ilahi Baloch, who is also the Patron of the Association, was the Chief Guest at the event. The ceremony was also attended by the Mr Ifthikhar Aziz the President of the Association along with other office bearers of the SLPFA, Embassy officials, and representatives of various media organizations.

As is customary, the Minutes of the last AGM, Secretary’s Report for the period under review and the Audited Accounts of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship Association were tabled and adopted.

Mr. Ifthikhar Aziz listed out the many projects and activities carried out by his Executive Committee and himself which included many firsts in the 60 year history of this second oldest Friendship Association in the country. These projects and activities included setting up an interactive and member friendly website for the Association, celebration of Sri Lanka’s Independence Day, Commemorating Iqbal Day and organizing very successful all-island Jinnah Essay Competition culminating in attractive cash awards and certificates being given to students, publication of an Executive Directory, quarterly newsletters, Ramazan Trade Fair, Friendly Cricket Festival involving the Sri Lankan and Pakistani members their families including Embassy personnel, Ifthar Programmes, providing Relief for Pakistani flood victims, organizing Ghaibana Janaza Prayers for the 26 innocent Pakistani soldiers killed by indiscriminate NATO bombing followed by a peaceful protest outside the Dewatagaha Mosque which attracted thousands of people and many other social service and cultural events that helped bring the two friendly countries and their brotherly peoples closer to each other.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka HE Seema Ilahi Baloch thanked the outgoing management of SLPFA for their support and cooperation for all the projects and activities carried by them during their tenure. She also urged the SLPFA to be proactive by launching membership drives for encouraging more Sri Lankans and Pakistanis to join the association. She added that one of the objectives of the association is to “foster and promote good understanding and strong ties between the people of Sri Lanka and Pakistan” which can only be achieved by engaging wider public. Then only the Association will contribute to the aims and objectives by enlarging the membership of the Association, she further said.

She asked the office bearers of the Association to explore ways and means to enhance present opportunities for student exchanges and to guide and encourage students to obtain admission to recognized learning institutions for higher studies in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Mr Aziz thanked the High Commissioner Seema Ilahi Baloch, High Commission Officials in particular Daud Ehtisham, Kaiser Chaudry, Amer Siddiqui, Mariam Saeed, etc ,his Secretary DR. Yasmin Fazli, Treasurer Mohideen Ariff, Exco members, sponsors, members of the Association and the media for all the support and co-operation extended to make his tenure a very successful one.

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