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Did Turkey Really ‘Backstab’ India In The UNHRC, Or Did It Play The Devils Advocate Via OIC? Has India’s Pinaka Deal With Armenia Miffed Turkey?

A controversial message has been doing the internet rounds and also garnering headlines in media, alleging Turkey of betraying India and supporting Pakistan over the ‘Jammu and Kashmir’ issue this after India extended humanitarian aid following the devastating earthquake in Turkey.

According to media reports, Turkey and the OIC at the UNHRC, United Nations Human Rights Council raked the issue of Jammu and Kashmir yet again. 

Following this, India is said to have given a befitting reply to the nefarious conspiracy of Turkey and Pakistan on Kashmir in the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

This has particularly miffed India after it launched ‘Operation Dost’ to help Turkey and even carried out rescue operations in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 45 thousand people.

However, if reports are to be believed, then Pakistan Lover Turkey is said to have responded to India’s generosity by raising the issue of Kashmir, but this may not be entirely true. Although Turkey has taken a stand for Pakistan over the Kashmir issue in the past, did it do so this time in the UNHRC?

The Statement of Turkey in UNHRC

Turkey has historically supported Pakistan and even engaged in anti-India propaganda by internationalizing the ‘Kashmir issue’. 

However, this time round, the transcontinental nation has not made any such comment in the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake at the UNHRC.

Mehmet Kemal Bozay, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, on February 27 this year spoke at the UNHRC and thanked the world for their continued support of the country during the crisis.

Turkey also expressed its commitment to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, the disputed Palestinian State and Crimea and called upon the nations to protect the migrants and refugees in Syria, Afghanistan and the Mediterranean. 

Bozay, having said that in his address, did not reference Jammu and Kashmir. 

So What Really Happened?

OIC, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation its Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha, on Thursday (March 2), reportedly referred to “developments in Afghanistan, the situation of the Rohingya Muslim community, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and the damage to the cultural and religious heritage in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan.”

India understandably was miffed with the malicious attempt of OIC, which had even in the past been prodded to make remarks on Kashmir by Turkey and Pakistan. It must be noted that both Turkey and Pakistan have been member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation since 1969.

To worsen the situation, Pakistan used UNHRC as a platform to peddle antagonistic propaganda against India. Hence, on Saturday (March 4), India used its ‘Right of Reply’ and slammed the neighbouring country for its sinister agenda.

India also made references to Turkey in the context of the OIC’s statement and asked the transcontinental country to refrain from interfering in India’s internal affairs. India was at the forefront of the evacuation mission under ‘Operation Dost’ after a devastating earthquake hit Turkey and claimed over 45,000 lives.

While fake news peddlers on Whatsapp suggest that Turkey backstabbed India despite India’s help, the statement of Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister at UNHRC says otherwise. He only mentioned Jammu and Kashmir in his speech, saying that the matter should be resolved as per the UNSC resolution on it.

Despite differences on multiple issues with Turkey, India carried out its humanitarian obligation as a true leader. OIC’s remarks and India’s harsh response cannot be seen as a failure of PM Modi to extend the olive branch.

Turkey stood by Pakistan over the Kashmir issue in the past.

Turkey has indeed tried to meddle in India’s internal affairs in the past. In February 2020, while addressing a joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament, Erdogan voiced his support to Pakistan on its stand on Kashmir, claiming that the issue of Kashmir cannot be solved via oppression or conflict but through justice and fairness. 

The Turkish President’s remarks came seven months after the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A, which had given a separate status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Before that, at UN General Assembly in October 2019, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made a strident speech supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir while encouraging the world to focus on an issue that has not received adequate attention from the international community.

India had sharply reacted to Erdogan’s statement in the UN assembly, expressed “deep regret” over the Turkish President’s remarks, and categorically asked it to refrain from making statements on India’s “internal matters”. 

Turkey is among the few countries supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, while most other nations agree with India’s stand on the matter.

Hence, India has called out Turkey’s interference and extended support to Pakistan in the Kashmir matter as Turkey had raked up the Kashmir issue in the past, but not at UNHRC recently after the earthquake and following India’s extended humanitarian aid to Turkey.

To conclude, the two are separate incidents; while the minister mentioned Jammu and Kashmir in his speech, he didn’t, however, accuse India of human rights violations in the region.

India’s stand On Jammu and Kashmir

Where India has stopped speaking of Pakistan in the United Nations, it is giving a double whammy by strengthening relations with Armenia and Greece by giving the Pinaka system to Armenia.

According to leading experts, India is being advised that New Delhi should more openly help the Central Asian country of Armenia, which is facing the nexus of Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Defence analyst Saurav Jha has stated that India should provide Armenia with deadly weapons. There is a high likelihood that the campaign of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan against Armenia will not be limited only to Nagorno-Karabakh.

India had provided Swati weapon search radar to Armenia, and now Armenia is being given Pinaka multi-barrel rocket systems and truck-borne howitzers. In the coming times, more lethal weapons can be supplied from India.

The arms deal between India and Armenia is advancing fast. India and Armenia have recently signed a contract for $155 million worth of guns. Experts say this shows India’s affirmation to continue defence assistance to Armenia despite Azerbaijan’s objection. 

India is supplying Pinaka rocket systems, anti-tank shells and various types of lethal ammunition to Armenia. Thus, Armenia has become the first international customer of Pinaka made in India.

On the one hand, where Turkey supplies deadly weapons ranging from drones to the army of Azerbaijan, India has now openly stood with Armenia. This will give a befitting reply to the moves of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan against Armenia. Last year India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had also visited Armenia.

India is not only strengthening its relations with Armenia but is also strengthening its friendship with Greece. Turkey has an old dispute with Greece, and both armies often come face to face.

Indo-Greece friendship will increase Erdogan’s tension?

Greece is pushing for a security alliance with India to counter the growing friendship between nuclear-armed Pakistan and Turkey. Turkey has bought the S-400 system from Russia, due to which Greece is in tension. 

In response, Greece is buying Rafale fighter jets from France, which India also uses. India can share its experiences with Greece with S-400, which will help it to deal with the Turkish threat.

Conclusion: Despite differences on multiple issues with Turkey, India carried out its humanitarian obligation as a true world leader.

 

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