Srinagar: After Pakistan welcomed Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer to strengthen the dialogue process for resolving the Kashmir issue, New Delhi asserted that it was an Indo-Pak bilateral matter, “essentially due to cross-border terrorism”.
Ahead of his arrival in New Delhi, President Erdogan had remarked that India and Pakistan were both friends of Turkey and he wanted to help strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue.
Erdogan had also called for a multilateral approach to settle the Kashmir dispute while calling for an immediate end to bloodshed.
New Delhi’s virtual rejection of Erdogan’s suggestion came in the course of his discussion with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the two countries held that “no intent or goal or reason or rationale can validate terrorism” and decided to work together to deepen cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to effectively counter this menace, the PTIreported.
Erdogan also assured India of his country’s full support in the fight against terrorism as he held ‘extensive’ discussion on this evolving threat with Modi, who described it as a ‘shared worry’.
In response to the question on Erdogan’s proposal, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India’s position that Kashmir is its integral part is very sharp and publicly known.
“We conveyed our viewpoint clearly on terrorism and Kashmir [to the Turkish side]. It was made clear that there cannot be any justification for terrorism, whatever is the intent. We clearly conveyed that the issue of Kashmir is essentially an issue of terrorism,” Baglay said.
Earlier, addressing a joint media event with Erdogan, Modi said countries across the world needed to “work as one to disrupt the terrorist networks and their financing and put a stop to cross-border movement of terrorists”.