Iran and Other Islamic Countries Weigh In on Kashmir Crisis

  • The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for restraint in both India and Pakistan.
  • In Iran, there is no consensus on the Islamic Republic's public policy on Kashmir.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the government of India's move to end the autonomy of the two states "illegal."

Iran and Turkey have criticized India’s policy of ending the autonomy of the two states, Jammu and Kashmir. Many Muslim countries, however, have been more cautious about recent developments in Kashmir. Mohammad Hussein Bagheri, Iranian Armed Forces chief of staff, expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir and said in a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart that a military approach to the Kashmir crisis could increase complexity throughout the region. Bagheri has called on the Indian government to respect the rights of Muslim residents of the two states.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (born 26 February 1954) is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current President of Turkey since 2014. He previously served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014 and as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998.

On the other hand, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for restraint in both India and Pakistan and spoke about Iran’s desire to see peace in Kashmir. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has even criticized India for blocking Eid al-Adha in Kashmir and Jammu.

Other Islamic Countries

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has officially taken a different stance from other Sunni nations in the Kashmir crisis and has declared the government of India’s move to end the autonomy of the two states “illegal.” Despite protests, the Indian government continued its restriction. Internet and telephone networks in Jammu and Kashmir have been cut off and Indian troops have prevented people from gathering.

Contrary to the positions of Iran and Turkey, other countries in the region have been cautious about the crisis in Kashmir. Saudi Arabia has called on India and Pakistan to maintain stability and peace in the region. The UAE’s initial response was even to support India. The UAE’s ambassador to New Delhi praised the Indian government’s move to consolidate peace. The UAE government has since departed from its ambassador’s position in New Delhi and has expressed concern at the escalation of the crisis in Kashmir, calling on the parties to restrain themselves.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) (‘Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution’ or Sepâh for short) is a branch of Iran’s Armed Forces, founded after the Iranian Revolution on 22 April 1979 by order of Ayatollah Khomeini. The Revolutionary Guards state that their role in protecting the Islamic system is preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or “deviant movements.”

According to estimates, about five percent of Muslims reside in Shiite Kashmir. The report claims that the Shiites in Kashmir defend the Indian government’s policy towards Kashmir and view the Indian government as their supporter in the face of the Sunni community.

In Iran, there is no consensus on the Islamic Republic’s public policy on Kashmir. While Mohammad Hussein Bagheri, Armed Forces chief of staff, considers Kashmir crisis to be resolved through diplomatic negotiations, a Tasmania news agency close to the IRGC reports them calling Iran’s position “passive.” The agency published an article with Ali Akbari’s signature, in which the author argues that Iran should maintain its economic cooperation and good relations with India, including cooperation in the Chabahar Port project. Residents of the two provinces of Jammu and Kashmir should be cautious, he says.

Akbari proposes a referendum to resolve the crisis in Kashmir. Obviously, such a referendum, given the Muslim majority living in the two states, is unacceptable to India, so insisting on such a proposal can only be for the purposes of propaganda.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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