Calling upon Turkish leadership to not interfere in India’s internal affairs and develop a proper understanding of the facts, including the grave threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan, India on Saturday (February 15) reacted sharply to the references of Jammu and Kashmir in the Turkey-Pakistan joint declaration.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, had voiced his country’s support to Pakistan’s stand on the Kashmir issue.
Responding to queries regarding reference to Jammu and Kashmir by Turkish President during his visit to Pakistan, as well as in the joint declaration between the two countries, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “India rejects all references to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India.”
“We call upon the Turkish leadership to not interfere in India’s internal affairs,” he said.
In a joint declaration issued by Pakistan and Turkey at the end of Erdogan’s talks, the two countries had underscored the need for resolution of all outstanding disputes between Islamabad and New Delhi, including Kashmir issue through a sustained dialogue process, and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Pakistan has been rattled by the Indian government’s move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. India has maintained that the move is its internal matter – a stance which has been supported by several countries across the world, including SAARC nations, with the exception of Pakistan.
In September last year, President Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue during his address at the United Nations General Assembly. Reacting to his remarks in the UN, India had said it “deeply regrets” the statement of Turkey on the Kashmir issue, and termed it an internal matter.
(With inputs from agencies.)