Don’t interfere: India to Erdogan over Kashmir

New Delhi, Feb 15: 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.

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