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Mahathir admits Malaysia’s ties with India strained due to his Kashmir remarks

By: PTI | Kuala Lampur |

Revealed: August 8, 2020 2:32:18 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes palms with former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad, on the sidelines of fifth Jap Financial Discussion board (File/PTI)

Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has admitted that his nation’s ties with India strained because of his remarks on Kashmir, however stated aside from that the connection between the 2 international locations was excellent, underneath his management.

Mahathir, who was as soon as world’s longest serving elected chief and now eyeing to make a comeback, stated he has been making feedback about affairs from everywhere in the world.

“Effectively, it did due to my remarks on Kashmir. However, aside from that the connection was excellent, even underneath my management,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by the WION news channel. He was requested whether or not the India-Malaysia relationship deteriorated throughout his tenure as prime minister.

In September, 2019, Mahathir raised the Kashmir concern whereas talking on the UN Normal Meeting, drawing robust response from the Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA), which stated India “fully rejects the references made in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable a part of India.”

“We as soon as once more name upon the Malaysian management to develop higher understanding of the details, together with that Pakistan which stays an epicentre of world terrorism, continues to recruit, prepare, arm and finance cross-border terrorism in opposition to India,” the MEA stated on the time.

“Our relationships with India have all the time been excellent. However after all, on and off there can be some minor glitches, occasions which have an effect on rapid relations at the moment. However, in a short time we overcome such strains in our relationship,” Mahathir stated.

He recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of many earliest world leaders to name on him when he grew to become the Prime Minister, the second time.

“Apparently, we had met a very long time in the past, though I had forgotten and he was capable of present an image of us collectively from a very long time in the past, earlier than he grew to become the Prime Minister,” Mahathir recalled. He stated he had met Prime Minister Modi and had good discussions with him.

“Effectively, we all the time wish to preserve good relations, whoever would be the Prime Minister of India, it’s not one thing that we must always take into accounts. Whoever is the Prime Minister we are going to develop good relations with the Prime Minister,” he stated whereas responding to a query.

When requested whether or not India underneath Prime Minister Modi has emerged as a world participant, he stated, “Sure.” He, nevertheless, stated Prime Minister Modi’s home insurance policies differ from earlier Indian governments. “You’ve got been a secular state and I feel it’s important that you simply perpetuate that stand that you simply took if you grew to become unbiased,” he added.

When requested why he raises concern in regards to the Muslims in India, however doesn’t rise up for the Muslims of China, he stated, “Effectively, our relationship with India and China is just not fairly the identical. So, with India we really feel that you’re extra liberal, extra prepared to just accept criticisms. However, with China you realize they don’t. They’ve a special system and completely different viewpoints.”

On China’s border aggression in opposition to India, Mahathir stated the “two of you (India and China) ought to sit down and settle this downside.”

“We by no means take sides. We simply recognise issues and fixing the issues by taking sides is just not going to do any good. We predict that between China and India there may be already some understanding, already you’re going to discuss to one another. Please proceed speaking,” he stated.

On stating that the American navy presence has elevated within the Indo-Pacific area to counter the Chinese language, he stated, the confrontation is just not going to current good outcomes.

“I feel it’s higher if America and China have been to take a seat right down to iron out their variations round a desk. That’s our want, that’s our manner. We’re in opposition to conflict, we’re in opposition to making threats so as to name the opposite international locations into following what you need them to do,” he stated.

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