Mahathir Refuses to Retract Kashmir Statement Despite Indian Pressure

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Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. — File photo

Web Report

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has refused to succumb to Indian pressure for changing his stance on the Kashmir issue.

“We don’t give criticism to side with anyone, but we call for both parties to discuss, use arbitration or go to the court of law, not to resort to violence,” he said while speaking to the media at parliamentary lobby in Kaula Lumpur on Tuesday, reports The Tribune.

He also urged finding ways and means to sort out Kashmir dispute, saying that he had raised the issue with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during their meeting in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

The Malaysian PM reiterated the Kashmir dispute must be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions. “It is Malaysia’s policy not to resort to violence but to resolve issues through negotiations, arbitration and the court of law,” he added.

Mahathir had previously hit out at the Indian government over atrocities it’s committing in Jammu and Kashmir during his address at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where he called for settling the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan through peaceful means.

Following his address at UNGA, #BoycottMalaysia was launched by the supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, Mahathir said that the government had not received any response from the Indian government with regards to his UNGA address, Strait Times reported.

“So far I’ve not received any feedback. I had told Narendra Modi to contact me if he is unhappy or dissatisfied,” he said, adding that Malaysia has called both parties to discuss, use arbitration or go to the court of law, not to resort to violence.

Earlier, Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah had said Malaysia would continue to play a proactive role in objecting any form of oppression regardless of religion or skin colour.

“Malaysia practises a non-aligned foreign policy, and wishes to befriend and do trade with all countries except Israel, but we have to make a stand on certain matters. For example, we spoke against the genocides in Cambodia, Rohingya as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

Commenting on the UN Security Council’s closed-door consultation to discuss the Kashmir issue on August 16, he said since Malaysia was not a UNSC member, it had sought the cooperation of Indonesia to state Kuala Lumpur’s stance on the matter.

“We would communicate directly with Indonesia on matters pertaining to the Kashmir conflict discussed in the council,” said the minister, adding that OIC Contact Group meeting held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 25 also took a strong stance on the issue.

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