Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday reiterated his country’s support to Pakistan on Kashmir, telling a joint session of parliament here that India’s decision to revoke the erstwhile state’s special status had “exacerbated the troubles of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters”.
“They have suffered for decades,” Erdogan, who is on a two-day trip to Pakistan, said in a speech aired live by all state-run and private TV stations in Pakistan. “It was Canakkale (a reference to the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War) yesterday and it is Kashmir today, there is no difference.”
Harking back to what Pakistan once did for Turkey, Erdogan said: “We have never forgotten, and will never forget the help that the Pakistani people extended by sharing their bread during our War of Independence. Now, Kashmir is and will be the same for us.”
The Turkish president said the “Kashmir issue” could be resolved “through justice and fairness” rather than conflict. “Such a solution will be in the interest of all parties. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue.”
Besides joining hands on Kashmir, Erdogan extended Turkey’s support to Pakistan against the application of political pressure by the inter-governmental Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF). “We are fully cognizant of the problems faced by Pakistan and we will continue to extend cooperation to it to cope with these.
Despite all the pressure, I assure you Turkey’s unflinching support at the FATF,” he said. “Our friendship is based on love and respect. Pakistan’s pain is our pain.”