India issues demarche to Turkey, says President Erdogan’s remarks on Kashmir ‘distort events of past’

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Hyderabad House in New Delhi (File)

India Monday issued a strong demarche to Turkey on the remarks made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Jammu and Kashmir during his Pakistan visit. MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Erdogan's remarks reflect neither an understanding of history nor of the conduct of diplomacy. He also added that the remarks distort events of the past to advance a narrow minded view of the present. The demarche was sent by Secretary (West) in the MEA to the Ambassador of Turkey in New Delhi today.

Adding that India finds Erdogan's remarks "completely unacceptable," Raveesh Kumar  said the episode is "but one more example of a pattern of Turkey interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. We particularly reject the repeated attempts by Turkey to justify the cross border terrorism practiced so blatantly by Pakistan."

Addressing a joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament on Friday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his country’s deep love and affection for Pakistan, and strongly backed its position on Kashmir.

“In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbours, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision,” he said, as reported by The Dawn. “Despite the resolutions adopted by the UNSC, Kashmir is still besieged and eight million people are stuck in Kashmir. They cannot get out,” he added.

India had rejected all references to Jammu and Kashmir made by the Turkish President, saying it was an integral and inalienable part of India. It also asked the Turkish President not to interfere in India’s internal affairs and suggested they develop “a proper understanding of the facts”, news agency PTI reported.