NEW DELHI: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday became the latest to speak against the government’s decision to repeal Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.
Experts say that the government’s decision may have strained some diplomatic ties but relations are far from sour.
“It was natural that some countries have reacted the way they have. I am sure the government also expected some backlash from some countries and were prepared to handle the situation,” a research scholar from the Indian Council for World Affairs said.
Apart from Pakistan and China, countries like Malaysia and Turkey have been fiercely critical of the BJP government’s decision to repeal Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two union territories. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has more than once voiced his opinion against the government’s decision, including at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
“The reaction to Malaysia’s criticism was seen in the commerce ministry notification of placing palm oil on the restricted items list. In my opinion, it also evinced the intended reaction from Malaysia. Mahathir’s silence on Kashmir issue in the joint press conference with Pakistan PM Imran Khan was evidence of him mellowing down,” a post-doctoral research fellow on international relations from the JNU said. Mahathir later said that Malaysia was too small a country to retaliate.
India, Turkey have enjoyed good bilateral relations over decades but have also seen tensions due to the Turkey government’s constant support to Pakistan on various issues.
Last year, India strongly condemned the unilateral Turkish military action in Syria and urged Ankara to exercise restraint.
“Strain on relations is not always seen through or solved by diplomacy. As we have seen in the case with Malaysia, there are other ways to deal with it. I think India has dealt with the situation well. Though relations might be temporarily strained by the developments, the far-fetching consequences on bilateral ties with countries like Turkey and Malaysia will be close to none,” the JNU researcher said.
A former diplomat, who did not wish to be named, said that apart from Malaysia and Turkey, there has been resistance to events of August 5 but without far-reaching consequences.
“For instance, there have been city councils in the US which have passed resolutions against the Kashmir situation but that will not have any bearing on Indo-US ties,” he said.