Kashmir: When Bozkir forgot he is UNGA President, not Turkish politician

at 7:56 pm
UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir (File Pic)

New Delhi (NVI) Turkish politician-diplomat Volkan Bozkir, who is currently the President of UN General Assembly, apparently forgot that he was holding such a responsible and respectable position when he made some controversial comments regarding Jammu and Kashmir.

On a visit to Pakistan and standing next to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he made the comments which do not behove the prestigious global position he holds right now.

At a joint press conference with Qureshi in Islamabad on Thursday, Bozkir said, “I think it is the duty, especially Pakistan’s to bring this (Kashmir issue) to the United Nation platform more strongly.”

He also said that all parties should refrain from changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir, and that a solution was to be found through peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter and UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions as agreed in the Simla Agreement between Pakistan and India.

An unhappy India reacted very strongly to these comments, saying he had done “great disservice to the office he occupies”.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India expresses strong opposition to the unwarranted references made with respect to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by Bozkir.

“His remarks that Pakistan is duty bound to raise this issue in the UN more strongly are unacceptable. Nor indeed is there any basis for comparison to other global situations,” said Bagchi.

“When an incumbent President of the UN General Assembly makes misleading and prejudiced remarks, he does great disservice to the office he occupies. The PGA’s (President of General Assembly) behaviour is truly regrettable and surely diminishes his standing on the global platform,” the spokesman said.

Bozkır is serving as the President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly since last year. His term is for one year which will end in September. He has earlier served as Turkey’s Minister of European Union Affairs.

Bozkir’s biased comments reflect the policy his native country Turkey has on Jammu and Kashmir, considering its closeness with Pakistan.

Turkey, under the Presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, considers itself a messiah of Muslims around the world and thus considers Pakistan as a natural ally.

Erdogan has particularly been very critical of India and was stinging in its attack after Article 370 was revoked in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

Seven months later, the Turkish President travelled to Islamabad and declared support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

In other unsavoury comments, he also likened the situation in Kashmir to that of Turkey during World War I.

Significantly, Turkey was the only country which supported Pakistan when it went around the world crying hoarse over the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

In fact, even most members of the grouping of Islamic countries OIC, including the most influential Muslim country Saudi Arabia, did not pay heed to Imran Khan and his colleagues when they sought help on Kashmir.

Saudi Arabia refused to convene an urgent meeting of the OIC despite repeated pleading by Pakistan, provoking its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to state publicly that Islamabad would opt out of the OIC.

Thus, Turkey is the sole supporter of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.