Erdoğan pledges Turkey’s support on Kashmir in phone call with Pakistan’s prime minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday to discuss the latest developments in the disputed Kashmir region, where India has deployed thousands of troops after introducing a parliamentary bill to revoke its special status.

Khan’s official Twitter account said the pair had discussed the “serious implications” this would have for regional security, and said Erdoğan shared the Pakistani prime minister’s concerns.

Khan said that Pakistan would continue its “diplomatic, moral and political” support for Kashmir’s right to self-determination.

Erdoğan assured the Pakistani prime minister of Turkey’s “steadfast support” in this regard, the phone call readout said.

India’s Hindu Nationalist government introduced a bill on Monday to end the special autonomous constitutional status of the Himalayan region.

The move was accompanied by a lockdown enforced by a mass deployment of Indian troops in the Muslim-majority region, which is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan. A decades-long insurgency in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since gaining independence from British rule in 1947. Two of them have been over Kashmir.

The bill is the most far-reaching move in the region in more than 70 years since the partition of India, and was warmly received by the Indian press, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

But critics of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government say the move could be used to change the demographics of Kashmir.