tragedy will help Lanka’s journey towards peace” - Pakistani FM
09, 2005 -13.00 GMT]
Pakistani Foreign Minister
Khurshid M. Kasuri said he is confident that the recent tsunami disaster in
Sri Lanka would contribute to the country’s peace process in a positive
way. Kasuri made these comments when he called on President Chandrika
Kumaratunga in Islamabad yesterday.
He said that any amount of assistance can only be a ‘gesture’
considering the massive devastation caused to Sri Lanka by the tragedy.
“However, there is a ‘silver lining’ behind this dark cloud,” the
Pakistani Foreign Minster added confidently.
President Kumaratunga briefed Kasuri on the scale of the damage caused by
the tragedy, to the lives and infrastructure of the island nation. She said
that the December 26th tsunami was a surprise and that Sri Lanka was not
prepared for a disaster of that magnitude.
Thanking Pakistan for its swift and immediate assistance, Kumaratunga said
that the situation is now under control. She said, the country would need to
construct 65,000 new houses within the next year, where as earler, only
4,000 new houses were constructed per year.
“We have to fast track the work of 18 years within a year, but we are
confident that we can achieve our goals,” Kumaratunga added.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Pakistan Foreign Secretary
Riaz H. Khokhar and several senior officials were also present at the
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Date: February 09, 2005 - 13.00 GMT