New York/New Delhi: Malaysia joined Turkey and China in raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), with its Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accusing India of “invading and occupying the country” of Jammu and Kashmir.
In his address to the 74th UNGA, Mohamad said: “Now, despite the UN resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied.”
“There may be reasons for this action but it is still wrong. The problem must be solved by peaceful means. India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the Rule of Law,” said Mahathir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Mahathir in Russia earlier this month on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, when India raised the issue of extradition of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, and Kuala Lumpur discussed the issue of Kashmir.
According to Malaysian media, Kashmir was the ‘main topic’ during the bilateral meeting between Mahathir Mohamad and Modi on September 5.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah told reporters later, “PM Modi took time to clarify the position of Jammu and Kashmir while Mahathir Mohamad explained Malaysia’s stand that all parties should meet and adhere to United Nations resolutions.
Saifuddin said Mahathir did not pledge support for or against any parties but hoped “the conflict would be settled and it would not escalate in a war”.
Mahathir had also suggested bringing in a “third party if necessary or to bring the case to international court”.
Saifuddin told reporters that, “Malaysia as an Islamic country with its own position among Islamic countries can explain the actual situation if the matter is brought up at any international platform”.
On the issue of Zakir Naik, he said: “Zakir Naik was mentioned by Prime Minister Modi in passing and he (Modi) said the matter was being discussed by officers of both countries.
“That was how he (Modi) presented it. Then, Mahathir did not respond as most of the time was used to discussed by officers of both countries.
“That was how he (Modi) presented it. Then, Mahathir did not respond as most of the time was used to discuss Kashmir.