Srinagar: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has yet again reiterated his stand on Kashmir saying he offers no apologies for his comments on Kashmir made last year, Free Malaysia today reported.
Speaking at a Solidarity with Kashmir event today in Kuala Lumpur, he said he chose to speak up about the issue despite being aware of the potential backlash he would face.
Referring to his ‘contentious’ speech in UN General Assembly last year which had drawn strong reaction from India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and had led to India imposing restrictions on palm oil import from Malaysia, he said the events that occurred in the region since only proved his point, adding that it even made his remarks mild and restrained in comparison.
“To my mind, keeping quiet is not an option when all the tell-tale signs were pointing towards another situation whereby a big and powerful country imposed its will with impunity on a small and defenceless nation,” he said, adding that “What transpired since my contentious speech at the UN General Assembly in September last year only served to prove that what I had said were mild and to a certain degree restrained.”
“I offer no apology for what I had said though I am sorry that it had affected our palm oil export to India. I don’t know if that is a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices,” he added.
“Now that I am no more the prime minister, I take it that I can speak without restrain and address the Kashmir issue without threats of boycotts and such,” he said.
Mahathir said his concerns about the conflict were not baseless, citing the comments of a senior Indian diplomat who allegedly said Delhi needed to employ an ‘Israeli model’ in Kashmir.
“It is indeed beyond comprehension that a diplomat exposed to the ways of the world could even think, let alone suggest, for his government to use Israel’s model of occupation on Palestine as the manner or strategy to administer Kashmir. Surely, he would be well informed of the atrocities and the genocidal actions the Tel Aviv regime had dished out on Palestine and the Palestinians,” he said.
Mahathir reiterated that the conflict in Kashmir needs to be resolved in a peaceful manner, calling on India and Pakistan to work out a solution together and to heed the UN’s advice.
Mahathir reiterated his stand on Article 370 abrogation yesterday as well in an interview with WION news channel and admitted that his country’s ties with India strained due to his remarks on Kashmir last year.
“They (people of Kashmir) have been free but now they are under India and this is, of course, not in accordance with the initial agreement that was made at the time of partition,” he said.
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