Respect sovereignty of other nations, reflect on your own policies: India's curt advice to Erdogan
New Delhi/IBNS: Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply, India said a day after rejecting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments on Kashmir as 'gross interference' in its internal affairs.
When asked to comment on the Turkish President's remark that Kashmir is a 'burning' issue and 'key to the stability and peace of South Asia, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said, "You would have seen the right of reply exercised by our Permanent Mission in New York where we have stated inter alia that the remarks of the President of Republic of Turkey on the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir constitute a gross interference in India's internal affairs and are completely unacceptable.
"Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply."
In a pre-recorded video message for a special session marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, Erdoğan had said: "The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue. Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir further complicated the problem.
"We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue within the framework of the UN resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir."
Soon after, TS Tirumurti, India's permanent representative to the UN, exercising 'Right to Reply' dismissed Erdoğan's comments as 'completely unacceptable' and tantamounts to 'gross interference in India's internal affairs.
"We have seen remarks by President of Turkey on Indian [union territory of} Jammu & Kashmir. They constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply," Tirumurti said.
The Turkish President, a close ally of Pakistan, was among the few countries to raise the Kashmir issue at last year's UN General Assembly session.
He subsequently also raised it during a visit to Pakistan in February despite India's warning that such comments would have an adverse effect on bilateral ties.
India had made a strong demarche with the Turkish government on Erdoğan's remarks on Jammu and Kashmir in Islamabad.
"These remarks reflect neither an understanding of history nor of the conduct of diplomacy. They distort events of the past to advance a narrow-minded view of the present," the external affairs ministry spokesperson had said at the time.