The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pakistan has dismissed a Pakistani newspaper report titled “Pakistan’s trade with Sri Lanka Comes to a halt”, which appeared on May 20 as fake news.
The disturbing news Item published in The Express Tribune of Pakistan on 20 May 2019 is “absolutely untrue and incorrect” the High Commission said.
In a statement, the High Commission said it made an attempt to ascertain the report’s veracity from the newspaper concerned and from the Office of the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi, which mainly deals with corporate and commercial matters.
The Consulate, thereupon had made inquiries swiftly and informed the High commission that it contacted the person who was purported to have given a statement to the newspaper.
The Tribune report quoted the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum Chairman Aslam Pakhali as saying that “Rice and textile exports to Sri Lanka from Pakistan have stopped. Potato export has also reduced drastically.”
The Sri Lankan Consulate had contacted Mr. Pakhali and it transpired that Mr. Pakhali had not made such statement or provided any such information to the newspaper as reported. Further, he confirmed that he had neither met the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka nor did he lead a delegation as was reported.
The High Commissioner thereupon wrote to the editor of The Express Tribune and expressed his dismay and dissatisfaction over the fake news and demanded a correction thereof.
“The High Commission emphatically states that no person by the name of Aslam Pakhali referred to in the said news item, met the High Commissioner or the Consulate General as reported. The said fake news item has been published without proper verification of the facts contained therein,” the Sri Lankan High Commission said in a statement.