Pak envoy apprises Sirisena on Kashmir; Sri Lanka desists from speaking












Pakistan High Commissioner Major Gen. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat has called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and apprised him on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of India’s historic move to change the constitutional status of the region.

A statement issued by the Pakistan High Commission here said Hashmat, during a meeting with the Sri Lankan President on Wednesday, briefed Sirisena about India’s so-called “illegal and unilateral actions seeking to alter the disputed status” of Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 and Article 35 (A) that accorded special status to region.

The Pakistan envoy also informed Sirisena that these steps were in “contravention of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and the international law.”

However, after giving a patient hearing to the views of Pakistan envoy, Sirisena refrained from making any comments on the issues pertaining to India and Pakistan.

Instead, he stated that both India and Pakistan have excellent friendly relations with Sri Lanka and the country’s interest is to see the growth of regional cooperation and friendship.

Pakistan’s move to call on Sri Lanka to intervene in the strictly “internal” matter of India comes as a part of its rhetoric, wherein the country has been endlessly trying to involve the international community in the wake of New Delhi’s historic decision to change the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tensions have simmered between India and Pakistan following the BJP-led Centre’s decision to revoke Article 370 that guaranteed special status to Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, the Indian Parliament also passed a ‘Reorganisation’ bill that divided the region into Jammu and Kashmir–with a legislature and Ladakh-without a legislature.

Rattled by India’s move, Pakistan, last week, sent its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to China to seek its help at the United Nations Security Council, urging it to call an emergency meeting on the issue. However, four out of five permanent members in the United Nations did not support Pakistan contentions over India’s decision.

India, time and again, has also stated that Jammu and Kashmir is “entirely an internal matter” of the country and all steps were taken keeping in mind the bright future of people of the region.

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