Soon after the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his opposition to New Delhi’s revocation of J&K’s autonomous status during his speech to a joint sitting of Pakistan’s parliament on Friday, New Delhi termed Kashmir an internal matter. In a statement issued on Saturday morning, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar dismissed Erdogan’s remarks on Kashmir stating that Turkey should “develop proper understanding of the facts” and stop interfering in internal affairs of other countries. India also summoned the Turkish envoy and lodged a strong protest with him.
New Delhi was also upset about the joint declaration of the Pakistan-Turkey high-level strategic cooperation council which made a specific reference to Kashmir, calling for “resolution of all outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir through a sustained dialogue process and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions”.
However, New Delhi must have anticipated the prominent mention of Kashmir during Erdogan’s Pakistan visit. Earlier in September, Erdogan had raised Kashmir in his UN speech. At the same time New Delhi will hardly need to worry as the major western powers have taken a more lenient view of the nullification of Kashmir’s autonomy. Only criticism that New Delhi has faced in western capitals is over the communication blackout and the arrest of the political leadership. In fact, the four US senators who in a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of “severe consequences” for New Delhi over the continuing information censorship in Kashmir and sought its review have steered clear of any demand for reversal of withdrawal of Article 370. Similarly the 25 envoys who came on a two-day visit to Kashmir last week have lavished some praise on New Delhi crediting it for taking positive steps to restore normalcy in Kashmir. Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, termed the visit of envoys a”welcome opportunity”. Her statement assumes importance in the light of the fact that a few weeks ago, European Union was about to pass a resolution against India on Kashmir.
Now India is looking forward to welcome US president Donald Trump in the last week of this month. And with the optics and the discourse about the visit centered on trade agreements and possibly defence purchases, Kashmir is unlikely to figure in the discussions -albeit, going by the tradition so far, one might expect a passing mention of Kashmir by the US president. But India will be happy to live with it, considering that Trump hasn’t moved beyond statements on Kashmir. So, one can safely conclude that India has successfully managed and reigned in the global fallout of its constitutional action in Kashmir. And going forward, things will only become easier.