India criticises Pakistan for hosting events on Kashmir with Mahathir, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Mahathir spoke at an event organised in Kuala Lumpur by the Pakistani mission last week to mark the first anniversary of the revocation of Kashmir’s special status and criticised India’s actions.
India on Friday criticised Pakistan for giving a platform to former UN-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad to speak on the Kashmir issue through events organised by that country’s missions.
Hekmatyar, who now heads the hardline Hizb-e Islami party, participated in a webinar on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir hosted last week by the Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan and said India should “learn a lesson from the Afghan jehad” and the only solution to the Kashmir issue is to give Kashmiris the right to self-determination.
Mahathir spoke at an event organised in Kuala Lumpur by the Pakistani mission last week to mark the first anniversary of the revocation of Kashmir’s special status and criticised India’s actions. During his last stint as Malaysia’s premier, his comments on the situation in Kashmir and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had taken bilateral ties to a new low.
Asked about Hekmatyar’s presence in the webinar organised by Pakistan, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “We have seen the media reports of the participation of the former UN-designated terrorist in an event organised by the government of Pakistan.
“This is nothing new. Pakistan not only harbours terror outfits but also encourages them. We hope that such participation in public events by a former UN-designated terrorist would not go unnoticed.”
In 2017, the UN removed Hekmatyar from its list of designated terrorists after he signed a peace deal with the Afghan government.
In response to a separate question on Mahathir’s presence at the Pakistan government event, Srivastava said: “You are aware of the outlook and position of Mahathir Mohamad on this issue. As a saying goes, you are known by the company you keep.”
On the Afghan peace process and the Afghan government’s decision to release 400 Taliban prisoners, Srivastava said, “We have taken note of the development. As far as India is concerned, we strongly support the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. We also support the intra-Afghan negotiations.”