Turkey, a key supporter of Pakistan, and a state on friendly terms with India has called on both countries to negotiate and resolve Kashmir Issue once and for all. This call for a settlement came a short time before Erdogan’s visit to India.
This is Erdogan’s first visit to India after the referendum in which he claimed executive powers.
President Erdogan is set to meet Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, today. The purpose of this visit is to discuss strategic issues, ways to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and trade and is set to hold bilateral talks over regional and international issues comprising of mutual interest which involves Kashmir issue as well.
In an interview, Mr. Erdogan said both the countries are upset regarding Kashmir and if they surmount this challenge, it will greatly contribute towards global peace. While making clear that the situation of Kashmiri freedom fighters bears no similarity with the Kurdish insurgents.
While talking about Kashmir issue, President Erdogan, showed concern for the upcoming generation. He pointed out that this age-old issue over Kashmir will hurt future the generations. For the past 7 decades, this issue has been a source of hostilities between India and Pakistan. If it is resolved, both countries will benefit from the relief. Otherwise, extending conflicts and questions in the future will be unfair for the coming generations because they will be victim to more instability.
President Erdogan further said both countries should keep their communication channels open while engaging with different stakeholders.
He said, “We have to build bridges, strengthen dialogue between different stakeholders. We shouldn’t allow more casualties to occur. We should strengthen multilateral dialogue. We can be involved in multilateral dialogues. I think we have to seek out ways to settle this question once and for all. It will provide great benefits to both the countries.”
High praise came from Mr. Erdogan for the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, saying that he has good intentions and is a well-meaning person.
During his statement, he also said that Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Turkish President have been discussing Kashmir issue at length and has heard him say that he wants to settle this matter once and for all while keeping channels for dialogue open in order to contribute to global peace.
Furthermore, Cemal Demir, Director of South Asia Strategic Research Center, has said that Turkey can become the bridge between the two countries to help resolve Kashmir issue.
Further saying, if this issue is not resolved then it gives an open space to global powers to exploit the issue for their own interests.
Erdogan, after winning a referendum that has consolidated his power, appears to be positioning himself as a player in international politics. He has already created a legacy for himself in Turkey and his statements on Kashmir indicate that he wants to stretch his influence into international relations and leave his mark there as well.