06.02.2020 (Free Malaysia Today) - PETALING JAYA: India today reacted strongly to the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in a Pakistan-Malaysia joint statement.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Malaysian leaders should develop a better understanding of facts and acknowledge that Pakistan remains “an epicentre of global terrorism”, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. The report was carried by various Indian news portals.
He said India completely rejected the references made with respect to Jammu and Kashmir, which he emphasised were an integral and inalienable part of India.
“We once again call upon the Malaysian leadership to develop better understanding of the facts, including that Pakistan remains an epicentre of global terrorism, which continues to recruit, train, arm and finance cross-border terrorism against India,” he said.
A joint statement issued by Malaysia and Pakistan at the end of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit recorded that Khan had raised the issue of Kashmir during talks with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Khan also thanked Mahathir for “speaking up” on the Kashmir issue, PTI reported.
India-Malaysia ties have been hit in recent times following the remarks by Malaysia on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the Kashmir issue.
Last December, India had summoned the charge d’affairs of the Malaysian embassy to lodge a strong protest against Mahathir’s “insensitive” comments criticising the new citizenship law.
Earlier today, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had told Reuters that New Delhi should take note of the change in tone as Mahathir had dialled back his criticism of India after it sparked a boycott of Malaysian palm oil.
India, the world’s biggest buyer of edible oils, last month imposed curbs on refined palm oil imports and informally asked traders to stop buying from Malaysia, the world’s biggest producer and exporter of the commodity after Indonesia.