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Malaysian PM refuses to raise Kashmir issue

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on February 10, 2020 with No Comments

After repeatedly mentioning Kashmir at all international fora, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad did not mention the K-word during the joint press conference after his bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A marked shift from what was expected at the joint press briefing ever since New Delhi started recalibrating its economic ties with Kuala Lumpur.

Although the joint statement issued after the talks mentions Kashmir and that PM Imran Khan apprised the Malaysian premier of the situation on the ground, Mohamad seems to be trying to balance relations.

“We also exchanged views on the current situation concerning Muslim Ummah globally, including the situation in Palestine and the situation in the Rakhine state of Myanmar involving Rohingya muslims.” said the Malaysian premier.

Khan on his part not only raised the issue of Kashmir but also thanked PM Mohamad for his support and cooperation on the issue. India had been exhorting Malaysia to not internationalise the issue of Kashmir and that the decision on Article 370 was an “internal” matter of India. In his comments last month, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar had said, “India and Malaysia have age-old ties that the Malaysian government should keep in mind while making statements.” The recent steps taken by India to stop palm oil imports would largely impact Malaysia since they are the largest exporters of palm oil to India. Khan offered to compensate for the loss that Malaysia could suffer due to the ban by India. “That’s right especially since we noticed India threatened Malaysia for supporting the Kashmir cause, threatened to cut palm oil imports. Pakistan will do its best to compensate for that,” Khan told the joint news conference.

 

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