Pakistan, Sri Lanka ink accords on visa, customs, agriculture, arts

COLOMBO: Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Sunday inked three agreements, including waiving off visas for officials and diplomats, cooperation in customs matters and augmenting cultural exchange, and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in agriculture.President Asif Ali Zardari and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapakse witnessed the signing of agreements after holding one-on-one meeting at the Presidential Palace. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Ch Ahmed Mukhtar and Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Saleem Mandviwala signed the respective agreements from Pakistani side.The agreement on visa will waive off visa conditions for diplomats and officials to increase the level of interaction between the two countries.Under the agreement on customs, both the countries will cooperate in stopping custom offences. They will assist each other in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, transfer of illicit substances and illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs.Under the agreement on cultural cooperation, both sides will strengthen relations in the fields of arts, culture, creative studies, archaeology, sports, education, information and media.There will be exchange of delegations under the cultural exchange programme, besides holding of exhibitions and promotion of cultural activities and heritage of both countries.The MoU on agriculture focuses cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries – App