The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday criticised Turkey’s remarks against India’s decisions related to Jammu and Kashmir, and described them as “factually incorrect, biased and unwarranted”. Turkey had on Monday claimed that India’s move to rescind the region’s special status had not “contributed to the peace and stability in the region”.
“We would urge the government of Turkey to get a proper understanding of the ground situation in India and refrain from interfering in its internal matters,” foreign ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during a press briefing on Thursday.
Srivastava also said that block development elections in Kashmir in 2019, various infrastructure projects and the reopening of schools reflected a return to normalcy. He made the remark in response to a question about the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee’s letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, expressing concern about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “It is because of our support for the bilateral relationship that we note with concern that conditions in Jammu and Kashmir have not normalized one year after India’s repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory,” the committee’s Chairperson Eliot Engel, and Ranking Member Michael McCaul had said in the letter, according to The Hindu.
A year ago, the central government had passed two bills in Parliament that split the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, stripped it of special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and repealed Article 35A, which ensured specific rights and protections to residents of the state. Since then, the region has been placed under the strictest lockdown in its history, with 4G internet services still suspended. On Tuesday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had announced a complete curfew in the region ahead of the anniversary of the revocation of its special status.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy had on Monday criticised India for scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. “It is observed that the practices in Jammu-Kashmir, after a year since the annulment of the Article of the Indian Constitution which accords special status to Jammu-Kashmir, have further complicated the situation in Kashmir and have not contributed to the peace and stability in the region,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.