EBM News
EBM News

India – Turkey relations: Ties strained over Kashmir issue but not ‘sour’

NEW DELHI:  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday became the latest to speak against the government’s decision to repeal Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.

Experts say that the government’s decision may have strained some diplomatic ties but relations are far from sour.

“It was natural that some countries have reacted the way they have. I am sure the government also expected some backlash from some countries and were prepared to handle the situation,” a research scholar from the Indian Council for World Affairs said.

Apart from Pakistan and China, countries like Malaysia and Turkey have been fiercely critical of the BJP government’s decision to repeal Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two union territories. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has more than once voiced his opinion against the government’s decision, including at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

“The reaction to Malaysia’s criticism was seen in the commerce ministry notification of placing palm oil on the restricted items list. In my opinion, it also evinced the intended reaction from Malaysia. Mahathir’s silence on Kashmir issue in the joint press conference with Pakistan PM Imran Khan was evidence of him mellowing down,” a post-doctoral research fellow on international relations from the JNU said. Mahathir later said that Malaysia was too small a country to retaliate.