Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that while his remarks on the Kashmir issue have led to strained ties with India, he would not apologise for them.
“STANDING UP FOR HUMANITY I had chosen to speak out despite being aware of the potential backlash. To my mind, keeping quiet is not an option.”
“What transpired since my contentious speech at the UN General Assembly in September last year only served to prove that what I had said were mild and to a certain degree, restrained,” Mohamad said in a series of tweets on Saturday.
“I offer no apology for what I had said though I am sorry that it had affected our palm oil export to India. I don’t know if that is a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices.”
“Now that Iam no more the Prime Minister, I take it that I can now speak without restrain and address the Kashmir issue without threats of boycotts and such. AT THE “KASHMIR’S ONE YEAR LOCKDOWN SINCE 5TH AUGUST 2019,” he tweeted.
Mohamad on Friday had admitted that his country’s ties with India have been strained due to his remarks on Kashmir, but said other than that the relationship between the two countries was very good, under his leadership.
In September 2019, Mahathir raised the Kashmir issue while speaking at the UN General Assembly, drawing strong reaction from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which said India “completely rejects the references made in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India”.