Sri Lanka Army Engineers, now fully committed to rid the North and East of LTTE landmines, estimated to exceed more than 1 million, received a boost on Thursday (27) when a delegation of Pakistan Army de-mining veterans after meeting the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, offered their technical know-how and experience further, to ongoing de-mining work of the Army.
The delegation from the Corps of Engineers of Pakistan Army is comprised of 10 senior experienced officers, headed by Colonel Zaafir Nisar, Deputy Group Commander, and monitoring the Earthquake Damaged Road Projects of Frontier Work Organization (FWO).
Colonel Nisar, who had also served as Training Officer for Mine Clearance with UN Peace Keeping troops in Cambodia during his courtesy call on the Commander of the Army at Army Headquarters, Colombo Thursday (27) morning, thanked the Army for inviting them to Sri Lanka, with the sole objective of sharing their expertise with Sri Lankan de-mining counterparts.
The visit came about following fruitful bilateral discussions the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, has had with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff earlier when the latter visited Sri Lanka in January 2011.
During his brief meeting with the Commander, Colonel Nisar opined that possibilities for commencement of a joint de-mining venture with Sri Lanka would be explored at both theoretical and practical levels during their two-week stay in the country.
To receive first-hand experience, the ten-member delegation toured heavily mined areas in Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu, met Sri Lankan de-miners and shared their experience and technical know-how with their Sri Lankan counterparts, Corps of Engineers conducting de-mining assignments.
The entire itinerary of the delegation, coordinated by Brigadier D. Karunaratne, Commander, Engineer Brigade, covered visits to the Army School of Engineers at Embilipitiya, Abimansala at Anuradhapura, new port complex at Hambantota and a few more other places of interest.
The visiting team from Pakistan has served de-mining assignments in countries like Sudan, Cambodia, Kuwait before their visit to Sri Lanka.