Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has admitted that his country’s ties with India strained due to his remarks on Kashmir, PTI reported.
“Well, it did because of my remarks on Kashmir. But, other than that the relationship was very good, even under my leadership,” Mahathir said in an interview to WION news channel. He was responding to whether the India-Malaysia relationship deteriorated during his tenure as prime minister.
“It is not about supporting Pakistan, it is about the people of Kashmir,” he said.
When asked whether he realised what consequences his comments resulted in, he said he has been making comments about affairs all over the world where some wrongs have been committed.
Reiterating his stance of abrogation of Article 370, he said: “They 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.”
In September 2019, after India abrogated Article 370, Mahathir raised the Kashmir issue while speaking at the UN General Assembly, drawing strong reaction from India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which said India “completely rejects the references made in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India.”
Mahathir’s comments had also led to India imposing restrictions on palm oil import from Malaysia.
With inputs from agencies