No statement made on Kashmir, no offer to mediate between Pak, India: Maithripala Sirisena

The office of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has distanced the head of state from remarks regarding occupied Kashmir as well as offering to mediate between Pakistan and India — as mentioned in a press release issued by the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka.

A press release was issued after a meeting between Pakistan High Commissioner retired Major General Dr Shahid Ahmad Hashmat and President Sirisena, which said that the latter “had acknowledged that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and expressed his desire that this dispute should be resolved according to wishes of Kashmiris under United Nations resolutions”

The press release also stated that President Sirisena “offered Sri Lanka’s mediation and facilitation of dialogue between Pakistan and India to re-activate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) forum”.

The following day, the media office of the Sri Lanka president issued a statement in response and made no mention of the comments attributed to the head of state in the media release issued by the Pakistan High Commission.

According to the statement, the meeting took place at the request of the High Commissioner of Pakistan, during which he briefed the president “about the recent developments with regard to India’s abrogation of Section 370 and annulling of Article 35A of the constitution”.

“The president gave a patient hearing to the Pakistan High Commissioner’s views and stated that both India and Pakistan have excellent friendly relations with Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s interest is to see the growth of regional cooperation and friendship,” added the statement, clarifying: “The president did not make any other comment on the issues pertaining to India and Pakistan.”

The Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka has not yet commented on the development. Media has reached out to the Foreign Office for a comment.