India on Tuesday hit out at Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hours after he spoke about Jammu and Kashmir in the United Nations. India called Erdogan’s comments “completely unacceptable” as the president said New Delhi’s decisions on the region had complicated the conflict.
During the general debate, the Turkish president said that Jammu and Kashmir remained a “burning issue” and that it was important to the stability and peace of South Asia. “Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu-Kashmir further complicated the problem,” Erdogan said in a pre-recorded video message, according to The Hindu.
Erdogan also called for the Kashmir matter to be resolved through dialogue. “We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue within the framework of the United Nations resolutions, especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir,” he added, reported ANI.
Hours after Erdogan’s comments, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti tweeted: “We have seen remarks by President of Turkey on Indian UT of Jammu and Kashmir. They constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.”
On August 5, 2019, the Indian government had passed two bills in Parliament that split the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, and stripped it of its special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Since then, the region has been placed under the strictest lockdown in its history, with 4G internet services still suspended.
On August 3, two days before the anniversary of India’s administrative changes to the region, Turkey’s foreign ministry claimed that New Delhi’s move to rescind the region’s special status had not “contributed to the peace and stability in the region”. India’s external affairs ministry had then called the comments “factually incorrect, biased and unwarranted”.
Erdogan’s remarks on Jammu and Kashmir came a day after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi raked up the matter in the United Nations. “The people of occupied J&K still await fulfilment of the commitment made to them by the UN to grant them their right to self-determination,” he had said. In response to Islamabad, India said that Pakistan should instead focus on the “unfinished” task of tackling terrorism.