Don’t interfere’: India to Turkish Prez Erdogan after Kashmir comment

(AFP photo)
India on Saturday criticised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments on Kashmir and asked him not to interfere in India’s internal affairs and to “develop proper understanding of facts including threat of terrorism emanating from Pakistan”.

The terse message from the Ministry of External Affairs came after Erdogan on Friday once again raked up the Kashmir issue and vowed that Ankara would support Pakistan’s stand as it is a matter of concern to both the countries.

Erdogan, who addressed a joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament, also announced that Turkey will back Pakistan in its efforts to come out of the Grey List of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is meeting this week in Paris.

In its response, MEA 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 and develop proper understanding of the facts, including the grave threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan to India and the region.

Erdogan’s statement came on a day when India marked the first anniversary of the Pulwama suicide bombing by the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad that killed 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulwama in Jammu on Kashmir.  

The MEA’s strong criticism of Erdogan on Saturday is the second such episode in four months after India panned Turkey’s military offensive in northeast Syria last October, saying the unilateral action could undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. New Delhi asked Ankara to exercise restraint and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. India also urged for peaceful settlement of all issues through dialogue and discussion.

Turkey had firmly defended its decision to launch military action in the face of international outrage and fears of new refugee crisis.

President Erdogan had then said the military operation would support Syria’s territorial integrity by confronting Kurdish control of the country’s northeast.