Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has distanced himself from remarks attributed to him in a press release issued by the Pakistan high commission in Colombo.
A meeting took place between the Sri Lankan head of state and the Pakistan High Commissioner Major General (r) Dr Shahid Ahmed Hashmat in which the situation in Kashmir was discussed.
The press release issued by the high commissioner’s office thereafter stated that President Sirisena “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” adding that the Sri Lankan President “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 statement released by the media wing of the president’s office in Sri Lanka clarified “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 statement further added, “The president did not make any other comment on the issues pertaining to India and Pakistan.”