United Nations: Pakistan lost Malaysia’s public support on its Kashmir stand as Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made no mention of it in his speech Saturday at the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly, reversing last year’s volatile stand of Mahathir Mohamad.
Last year Pakistan was able to get only two countries in the 193-member UN — Turkey and Malaysia — to publicly echo its concerns about Kashmir. But this year only Turkey has, making Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan a voice in the wilderness.
Muhyiddin warned about the resurgence of terrorism because of the Covid-19 pandemic,
“We must never discount the fact that terrorist groups could be ramping up their efforts to take advantage of the present uncertain times to further enhance their agenda,” he said.
He spoke at length about the Palestine issue calling it a failure of the UN.
“Together with the rest of the international community, Malaysia will continue to reaffirm its support to the realisation of the state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.
Last year, Mahathir spoke on the Kashmir issue alongside the Palestine problem.
“Despite the UN resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied,” he said in unusually harsh terms for a Malaysian leader.
“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.
The 95-year-old Mahathir, back in office from a 15-year hiatus, was working with Turkey and Pakistan to create a non-Arab-led centre for Islam when he spoke last year.
Malaysia, with a large minority of Indian origin, has a tradition of friendly relations with New Delhi and the Mahathir experience appears as an aberration.
Bringing up Kashmir again this year, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it a “burning issue” in his speech Tuesday in the opening session of the General Assembly’s high-level meeting.
“The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue,” he said.
The withdrawal of Kashmir’s special constitutional status “further complicated the problem,” he said.
But he avoided mentioning India by name.
Reacting to Erdogan, India’s Permanent Representative to UN, T.S. Tirumurti, said in a tweet that his remarks “constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.”