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UN GA’s President Rakes Up Kashmir Again, India Strongly Reacts

SRINAGAR: Volkan Bozkir, the Turkish diplomat currently the president of United Nations General Assembly raked up Kashmir again, this time in Islamabad in a joint presser with host Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Drawing parallels between Palestine and Kashmir, Bozkir reiterated that neither India nor Pakistan should make no attempt to alter the status of Kashmir.

Volkan Bozkir, the first Turkish to head UN General Assembly 

India’s Reaction

A day after, India strongly reacted to the statement for his “unwarranted references” on Jammu and Kashmir and insists the comments were “unacceptable”.

“When an incumbent President of the UN General Assembly makes misleading and prejudiced remarks, he does a great disservice to the office he occupies,” the MEA spokesman, according to The Indian Express said, asserting, his “behaviour is truly regrettable and surely diminishes his standing on the global platform.” The spokesman said India dismisses equating of Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir as there is no “basis for comparison to other global situations.”

The spokesman offered details from the UN documents to insist that the UNGA president’s statements were in violation of the established systems of the UN body.

Erdogan-Modi

Bozkir Statement

During his 3-day visit, the Turkish diplomat had a joint news conference with the host Foreign Minister in which he suggested Pakistan strongly take up the Kashmir in UN.

“Both parties, all parties, must refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Bozkir, according to al-Jazeera. “This is I think the very important part of how we look at the case.”

“I think it is the duty, especially Pakistan’s, to bring this [issue] to the United Nation platform more strongly,” said Bozkir, according to Pakistan newspaper The Dawn. “He agreed that the Palestinian issue and the Kashmir issue were of the same age.”

The Express Tribune in its editorial said that Volkan Bozkir did not only “made a strong endorsement of Pakistan’s efforts to draw international attention to the Kashmir”, he was “actually pushing for Pakistan to be even more vocal”.

Former diplomat, Bozkir has been in Turkish parliament thrice before becoming the first Turkish diplomat to head UNGA for a year ending September 2021. This was his second Pakistan visit, the first before assuming the UNGA presidency.

India Turkey Relations

India Turkey relations have grown cold after Istanbul strongly reacted to the undoing of Article 370 in August 2019. They cancelled mutual contracts and reduced relations to the basic level. Off late, however, they are gradually warming up to each other. In the ongoing pandemic, Turkey has been flying humanitarian aid to Delhi.

The consignment that two Turkish A400M military cargo aircraft landed in Delhi on Wednesday, according to Hindustan Times included “five oxygen generators, 50 ventilators, 680 oxygen cylinders, and 50,000 boxes of antiviral medicine.” Foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had offered to send the relief materials during a conversation with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on April 26. The two leaders had met in Dushanbe on the margins of the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan in March, perhaps the first such interaction in more than a year. The newspaper reported: “The Turkish aid was seen in some quarters as a move by Ankara to put bilateral ties on an even keel after they were hit in recent years by differences on the Kashmir issue and other matters.”

The situation and the relationship perhaps were explained better by the sentence that was written on the relief boxes. It mentioned one of Rumi’s sayings: “There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness”.

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