New Delhi, February 24
Pakistan has sought to replicate India’s offer for security and development cooperation with Sri Lanka during its PM Imran Khan’s two-day visit to Colombo.
Pakistan offered Sri Lanka a defence line of credit of $15 million and pitched for the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Khan made the offer after being received by his counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa at the airport and given a red-carpet welcome accompanied by a 19-gun salute India too has been offering defence line of credit and activating different types of connectivity projects with neighbouring countries. However, New Delhi’s bid to start a container project in Sri Lanka has not borne fruit so far despite an in-person visit by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to wrap up its loose ends.
Though Pakistan has supplied arms to Sri Lanka, India has far substantial footprints of security and defence cooperation as well as much greater economic and developmental involvement. “Pakistan is part of the One Belt and Road initiative of China, and CPEC is one of its flagship programmes. And it means connectivity,” said Imran Khan. — TNS