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* President's office clarifies President did not comment on Kashmir during meeting with Pakistani HC
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 09:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka President's Office has clarified that President Maithripala Sirisena had not made a comment on the Kashmir issue during a meeting with the Pakistani High Commissioner recently.

Issuing a statement, the President's Media Division said its attention has been drawn to a media release issued by the Pakistan High Commission on the High Commissioner's meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena on August 20, 2019.

High Commissioner of Pakistan, Maj. Gen. (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on 20th August 2019 to apprise him about the current situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

The President's Media Division said the meeting took place at the request of the High Commissioner of Pakistan and 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 of India.

"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. The President did not make any other comment on the issues pertaining to India and Pakistan," the statement said.

The clarification comes in the wake of a statement issued by the Pakistani High Commission stating that the Sri Lankan President had said the issue should be resolved according to the wishes of the Kashmiris.

Pakistani High Commission said during the meeting, the High Commissioner briefed the President about India's illegal and unilateral actions seeking to alter the disputed status of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and its demographic structure by revoking Article 370 and 35A.

He has also apprised the President of the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under total lockdown and curfew since 5th August 2019.

According to the High Commission statement, the President 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 UN Resolutions. He has also offered Sri Lanka's mediation and facilitation of dialogue between Pakistan and India to re-activate the SAARC forum.

The President has further said that resolution of Kashmir issue is essential for permanent peace and stability in the region.


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