Erdogan in India: Separatists apart, Turkey president's remarks on Kashmir impress few in the Valley

In the Valley, there is hardly any euphoria over the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks suggesting a multilateral dialogue to settle the question of Jammu and Kashmir. Barring a few Hurriyat leaders no one seems to have much expectation from the Turkish president's offer of mediation, as most of the people say apart from appeasing his Islamist constituency at home, there no nothing the Turkish president can do to change political status of the state.

"It was surprise. Leaders who come to Delhi these days either loathe the idea of political violence or are simply not interested in the Kashmir politics," said Javid bin Nabi, a student of International Relations at the Islamic University of Science and Technology.

Narendra Modi with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Narendra Modi with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

"But we all know, it means nothing for the larger question of addressing Kashmir," he added, "I don’t why the blood pressure of TV anchors has gone so high."

Kashmiris have been seeking the intervention of major western capitals, particularly Washington and London, to solve the Kashmir conundrum. Ever since an armed insurgency erupted in the early 1990s, the separatist leadership and indigenous militant outfits have always looked for any possible intervention from western powers to solve the issue. "But Turkey and its president are not in a position to play that role. Erdoğan himself is hardly in any position to bring all the three parties to the table despite having influence with both India and Pakistan," Noor Mohammad Baba, a professor of politics and governance at the Centre University of Kashmir, said.

Erdoğan has been at the centre of a dramatic string of events over the past year. After a failed military coup, he has succeeded in tightening his grip over the country, jailing Opposition leaders and suppressing dissent in the Kurdish region. "What will he talk about dialogue and reconciliation? He has jailed almost the entire democratically-elected Kurdish leadership and killed 2,500 people in Turkey and since last year, jailed government servants and Opposition leaders," Imad Nazir, a student of Central University of Kashmir, said.

But the separatist leadership in the Valley has welcomed the offer and expressed hope that Turkey, being an important Islamic country and having cordial relations both with India and Pakistan, will play an effective role in solving the Kashmir problem.

"Being an active member of the Kashmir Contact Group at OIC, Turkey which has always advocated the solution of Kashmir issue in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. And so, Turkey can play a vital role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute to end the tension in this region,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hurriyat chairman said. "At a time when Turkey and India seem to come closer, Turkey can act in an imaginative way in bringing both India and Pakistan closer to find an honorable and just solution to the Kashmir issue," he added.

Meanwhile, terming the Turkish president's statment as 'a positive development', chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Shabir Ahmad Shah, said "The statement by Erdoğan is encouraging and gives us satisfaction that the world leadership is keenly observing the developments in Kashmir. We welcome his suggestion. Kashmir is a longstanding dispute and a bone of contention between two nuclear neighbours."

He added, "The people of Jammu, Kashmir and Pakistan have always been favouring the resolution of this dispute through tripartite talks or by implementing UN Resolutions, but India not only finds excuses to run away from talks but also uses worst kind of suppressive measures against Kashmiris, particularly the youth of the state."

Updated Date: May 02, 2017 12:13 PM

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