Expressing gratitude for Ankara’s support, Kashmiri leaders have lauded the Turkish foreign minister’s statement on the Kashmir issue during his visit to Islamabad this week.
Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, hailed Mevlut Cavusoglu’s remarks as “bold and courageous.”
“We, in particular, would like to express our thanks to the government of Turkey for reiterating that the peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute has to be explored in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he said in a statement on Friday.
He praised the foreign ministers of Turkey, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan for their expression of solidarity with Kashmiris in a joint statement released after their trilateral meeting in Islamabad.
“The joint statement is significant because history testifies that bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have failed, and have resulted in more pain and suffering of the people of the territory,” Fai said.
Cavusoglu, at a news conference with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Azerbaijan’s Jeyhun Bayramov on Wednesday, voiced support for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
“We believe unilateral steps complicate the situation further. We reaffirm our concerns and expectations, which were also addressed during the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] ministerial meeting in Niger,” he said.
“We believe in dialogue and peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute within the framework of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, convener for the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, praised Turkey for its “strong and realistic” support.
“The Kashmiri people are thankful to the people and government of Turkey for their strong and realistic stand on the Kashmir dispute,” he said in a statement.
He said some 900,000 troops deployed by New Delhi in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir are “killing innocent Kashmiris and committing the worst forms of human rights violations.”
– Disputed region
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, New Delhi and Islamabad have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire took effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989.
Source: Anadolu Agency