Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called on India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue. Erdogan, who is currently visiting Islamabad, said that the suffering of Kashmiri people, because of escalating tensions between the the two neighbours, could “no longer be ignored”, PTI reported.
Erdogan said he and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had “touched upon [the] recent developments” in the Kashmir region during talks, Dawn reported. The president offered Turkey’s cooperation in resolving the dispute and stressed the need for dialogue between the two sides. He also addressed a joint session of the Pakistani parliament on the issue.
Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened, even as the crisis in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani continues. More than 90 people have been killed in unrest in the Valley following Wani’s killing, and hundreds have sustained grievous injuries during protests in the past three months.
India has further held that there has been an increase in ceasefire violations after it carried out its surgical strikes on “terror launchpads”. The strikes by the Indian Army came after militants on September 18 attacked an Army installation in Uri, killing 19 soldiers. India had accused Pakistan of being involved in the attack, but Islamabad had dismissed the allegations as “baseless”.
New Delhi and Islamabad have also been involved in a diplomatic row, with each accusing the other’s foreign officials of spying for their governments. On October 27, India had declared Pakistani High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar “persona non grata”. Eight Indian High Commission officials then left Pakistan following charges of indulging in “subversive activities”.