Events in Kashmir ‘hurt our conscience’: Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raked up Kashmir issue twice on Thursday, expressing concern over the violence saying events there continue to “hurt our conscience”.
Erdogan, whose country shares a warm and traditional relationship with Pakistan, also offered Turkey’s cooperation in resolving the issue while he felt the resolution of the dispute lies in dialogue between India and Pakistan.
“The events in Kashmir continues to hurt our conscience,” he said in his address to a joint session of the Pakistan Parliament which was attended Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif besides Chief Ministers of Punjab, Sindh among others.
“We are aware of the distress and suffering of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters. We are deeply concerned about the increase of tension,” he said.
He said the situation in Kashmir once again demonstrated the importance and the urgency of the solution of this issue.
The resolution of this dispute lies in dialogue between Pakistan and India for which Turkey is ready to extend any cooperation, he added.
He said the international community should exert further efforts in order to solve this issue, which has political and humanitarian dimensions, according to justice and law.
Earlier, after extensive talks with Prime Minister Sharif, Erdogan held a joint press conference wherein he said that they talked about the situation in Kashmir.
“Our brothers and sisters in Kashmir are suffering because of escalating tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and Kashmir, which can no longer be ignored,” Erdogan said.
He stressed on the importance of dialogue to address the thorny issue. “The Kashmir issue needs to find a resolution for itself following a dialogue between Pakistan and India.”
Erdogan also talked about terrorism and said peace was not possible in the world and in the Muslim countries until the terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda were tackled.
He said these terrorist organisations were bringing bad name to the Islam, a religion of peace.
“We should eliminate these bunches of killers, who have no other skill than to shed Muslims’ blood, from the Islamic world and from all over the world as soon as possible.”
Erdogan also lambasted what his government has termed the Fethullah Terror Organisation for allegedly supporting a coup against him and said it was a threat to other countries.
Erdogan also highlighted Turkey’s historical relations with Pakistan, calling the two as “real brothers”, which always have been sharing each other’s joy and grief.
“Our target is to further expand multidimensional relationship with Pakistan in different fields including defense, culture, education and health. We also want to set the target of enhancing the bilateral trade to USD 1 billion,” he said.
Talking about the regional situation, the Turkish leader said that strong relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan were vital for peace and security in the region.
He left for Lahore after parliament address to attend a banquet hosted in his honour.