Sri Lanka defence conference to discuss Pakistan political changes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will host an international defence conference which will discuss, among others issues, how Pakistan’s powerful military will interact with the new political leadership of Imran Khan.

Army chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said the two-day Colombo Defence Seminar at the end of this month will be attended by top military brass from India, China, Pakistan and the United States in addition to many more.

"We can discuss how Pakistan’s military – a very powerful military – will work with the new government (of Imran Khan)," Lt. Gen. Senanayake told reporters in Colombo when asked about the content of the two-day seminar.

International cricket star-turned politician Khan’s relatively new  PTI party emerged the winner of the July 25 parliamentary elections in Pakistan. His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insfa (PTI) beat the more established parties of the Bhuttos and the Sharifs.

Opposition parties have accused the influential Pakistan military of supporting Khan’s party at the polls, an allegation denied by both the PTI and the security forces.

This year’s Colombo conference is the 8th in a series begun soon after Sri Lanka ended its decades-long Tamil separatist war in May 2009. This year’s theme of the conference is "Security in an Era of Global Disruptions".

President Maithripala Sirisena is to open the event on August 30 at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Conference Hall. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will deliver the keynote address, Senanayake

The army in a statement said this year’s topic "underlines the importance of contemporaneous security issues that appear to be increasingly interconnected." (COLOMBO, Aug 7, 2018)

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