ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickreme­singhe on Wednes­day to offer condolences over the deadly bombings across Sri Lanka on Sunday and reiterate his government’s offer of assistance to the island nation to counter terrorism.

Condemning the terrorist attacks that left more than 350 Sri Lankans dead, he expressed his heartfelt condolences and the hope that the survivors and the wounded would recover quickly from the trauma.

Mr Khan said the people of Pakistan were deeply grieved over the loss of precious lives and stood with their Sri Lankan brethren at this hour of grief.

“Being the worst sufferers of terrorism, we [Pakis­tanis] can feel the pain of our Sri Lankan brethren,” he said.

He told Mr Wickreme­singhe that terrorism knew no boundaries and no religion, and threatened the peace of the entire region and the world.

Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and would continue to provide every possible support for elimination of the menace, Mr Khan added.

The militant Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks on churches and hotels. If the claims are confirmed, the attacks look likely to be the deadliest ever linked to the group.

Both the Sri Lankan government and the United States said the scale and sophistication of the coordinated bombings suggested the involvement of an external group such as IS.

Most of those killed and wounded were Sri Lankans, although officials said 38 foreigners were also killed. Forty-five children were among the dead.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2019