Don’t Interfere: India To Erdogan Over His Comments On Kashmir

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Ministry Of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar – File Pic

NEW DELHI – India on Saturday criticised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for raking up the Kashmir issue during his address at the Pakistan Parliament, and asked him to desist from interfering in India’s internal affairs.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India rejects all references made by the Turkish President on Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that the union territory is an integral and inalienable part of India.

In his address at a joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament on Friday, Erdogan compared the “struggle” of Kashmiri people with that of the fight by Turkish people against foreign domination during the World War I.

Kashmiri people have suffered for decades and their sufferings have increased following “unilateral steps taken in recent times”, Erdogan said referring to India revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir last year.

“India rejects all references to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India,” Kumar said.

He was responding to a question on Erdogan’s comments on Kashmir as well as its reference in a joint declaration by Turkey and Pakistan.

“We call upon the Turkish leadership to not interfere in India’s internal affairs and develop proper understanding of the facts, including the grave threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan to India and the region,” Kumar said.

Last September, Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue during his address at the United Nations General Assembly.

In August last year, India announced its decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

Pakistan reacted angrily to the move and even downgraded its diplomatic ties with India by expelling the Indian High Commissioner.

Islamabad also unsuccessfully tried to rally international support against India on the issue.

‘Don’t Worry, One Democracy Will Settle It,’ Jaishankar To US Senator On Kashmir

Munich: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told a senior US Senator that India will “settle” the Kashmir issue on its own when the American lawmaker brought up the issue during an interaction at the Munich Security Conference.

Referring to the Kashmir issue during a panel discussion, Senator Lindsey Graham said the best way to sell democracy will be to settle the Kashmir issue in a democratic way.

“In India, you are moving forward, you got your problems like we do at home, but you’ve chosen the democratic path. When it comes to Kashmir, I don’t know how it ends, but let’s make sure that two democracies will end it differently. If you can prove that concept here, then I think that’s probably the best way to sell democracy,” the Republican leader said.

To this, Jaishankar promptly responded, “Do not worry, Senator. One democracy will settle it and you know which one.”

During the discussion Jaishankar also said that the United Nations is far less credible than it has been in history and “something” should be done about it.

“The United Nations is far less credible than it has been in history, which is not entirely surprising because when you think about it, there are not too many things which are 75 years old and still as good as they were. Clearly there is something that needs to be done there.”

He also spoke about “westlessness” and multilateralism at the panel discussion.

“Clearly multilateralism has become weaker, and clearly westlessness is in evidence and I would suggest that there is a correlation between the two, It is not to say that multilateralism is solely dependent on the West, or that the West has been faithfully multilateral,” he said.

He highlighted that the global political rebalancing is underway and made a case for greater western flexibility.

“Multilateralism can today be strengthened by more creative diplomacy and plurilateral understanding,” he said.

The Munich Security Conference, being held here from February 14-16, is the world’s leading forum for debate on international security policy.

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