At a joint Parliament session in Pakistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his country’s support to Pakistan on Kashmir saying that India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status had “exacerbated the troubles of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.” Erdogan, who is on a two day trip to Pakistan said in a speech “They have suffered for decades. It was Canakkale (a reference to the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War) yesterday and it is Kashmir today, there is no difference.”
The Turkish President said that the Kashmir issue can be resolved with justice and fairness instead of conflict. “Such a solution will be in the interest of all parties. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue.” The President during the speech, recollected Pakistan’s help to Turkey once, “We have never forgotten, and will never forget the help that the Pakistani people extended by sharing their bread during our War of Independence. Now, Kashmir is and will be the sae for us.” Extending support on the political pressure exhibited by the inter – governmental Paris – based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Erdogan said that they are cognisant of the problems faced by Pakistan and that they will continue to cooperate and help Pakistan cope with these. “Our friendship is based on love and respect. Pakistan’s pain is our pain.” He continued to add that Turkey would provide assistance to Muslims no matter where they are, referring to other conflict zones.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed strong reservations in response to the Turkish President’s comments. After Erdogan stated that Kashmir is a matter of concern to both Ankara and Islamabad, India said that the Turkish leadership should not interfere with its internal matters and instead understand the facts properly. “India rejects all references to Jammu & Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India.” The MEA said.