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No apology for Kashmir remarks, keeping quiet not an option, says Mahathir Mohamad

  • Former Malaysian PM says though his remarks had affected Malaysian palm oil export to India, he does not know if that was a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices
Updated 09 Aug 2020

(Karachi) Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that he spoke in support of Kashmiri people in the United Nations General Assembly last year despite knowing the potential backlash.

Putting to rest Indian media assertions, he said though his remarks had affected Malaysian palm oil export to India, he does not know if that was a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices.

He added, "I offer no apology for what I had said."

He made these remarks while addressing an event in Kuala Lumpur to mark a year of military siege of Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir. Dr Mahathir also shared some key points of the address on his Twitter handle in support of the Kashmiri people.

He maintained, “To my mind, keeping quiet is not an option when all the tell-tale signs were pointing towards another situation whereby a big and powerful country imposed its will with impunity on a small and defenceless nation."

He said, "What transpired since my contentious speech at the UN General Assembly in September last year only served to prove that what I had said were mild and to a certain degree, restrained."

The former PM stated that he does not has to offer an apology over his remarks though he felt sorry as it had affected Malaysia's palm oil export to India. "I don’t know if that is a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices," he said.

"Now that I am no more the Prime Minister, I take it that I can now speak without restrain and address the Kashmir issue without threats of boycotts and such”, he concluded.," he pointed out.

In September 2019, Dr Mahathir raised the Kashmir issue while addressing the United Nations General Assembly, drawing a strong reaction from India. Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that despite UN resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country had been invaded and occupied.

He had called for resolution of the issue by peaceful means. "India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the Rule of Law,” he stated in the UN.