India on Thursday reacted sharply to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for making yet another effort to raise the Kashmir issue at the United Nations and said that reference to Kashmir by other countries in the UN General Assembly session “doesn’t matter” to it. The response by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) comes after Erdogan on Tuesday raked up the Kashmir issue during his address to world leaders at the high-level UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “It is a different issue and our position is very well known. Jammu and Kashmir is our internal issue and we have expressed our opposition. Reference of Kashmir by other countries in UNGA doesn’t matter.”
Erdogan, a close ally of Pakistan, had said at the General Debate, “India and Pakistan, after having established their sovereignty and independence 75 years ago, still haven’t established peace and solidarity between one another. This is much unfortunate. We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir.”
His comment came less than a week after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in the Uzbek city of Samarkand during which they reviewed the full range of bilateral relations and discussed ways to deepen cooperation in diverse sectors.
In recent years, Erdogan has referred to the Kashmir issue in his address to world leaders at the high-level UN General Assembly sessions, causing strain in ties between India and Turkey.
India in the past termed his remarks as “completely unacceptable”, saying Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.
Meanwhile, the MEA spokesperson also reacted on the release of Indians trapped in that Myanmar’s Myawaddy area after falling prey to an international racket promising jobs in Thailand. He said out of 80-90 Indians trapped in Myawaddy, 32 people have been rescued so far and efforts are on to help others.
He urged Indian nationals to exercise caution before taking up job offers in Thailand.
“Some fraudulent IT companies appear to be engaged in digital scamming and forged crypto activities. They seem to be operating through agents in Dubai, Bangkok, and India, and are recruiting Indian workers on the pretext of employment opportunities in Thailand in the IT sector there. The workers are lured by social media advertisements of highly lucrative data entry jobs in Thailand. “Unfortunately, these workers are then taken illegally across the border into the Myawaddy area of Myanmar and that area as you know is difficult to access due to the local security situation,” he said.
“Our embassies in Thailand and Myanmar have issued advisories in this regard, please follow them,” he said.
Myawaddy area in southeastern Myanmar’s Kayin state bordering Thailand is not fully under the control of the Myanmarese government and certain ethnic armed groups hold sway over it. Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states, including Nagaland and Manipur.
The Indian embassy in Myanmar had rescued over 30 Indians out of the 60 trapped in the Myawaddy area after falling prey to the racket.
Speaking on the Khalistan referendum in Canada, he said, “It is a farcical exercise that was held by extremist and radical elements in Canada. The matter was taken up with Canadian authorities. We find it deeply objectionable that politically motivated exercises are allowed in a friendly country.”
Sikhs for Justice, a banned outfit in India, was recently organising truck rallies in Canada for an upcoming Khalistan referendum event set to take place in a government-owned and operated facility — The Gore Meadow Community Centre.
Recently, a prominent Hindu temple BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir was defaced by “Canadian Khalistani extremists” in Toronto with anti-India graffiti in an apparent hate crime, prompting the Indian mission to condemn the incident and urge authorities to take swift action against the perpetrators.
(with inputs from PTI)