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PM Imran regards Erdogan for Kashmir address at UNGA

NEW YORK: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for raising the Kashmir issue in his address Tuesday to the UN General Assembly.

Khan told reporters in New York he hoped more leaders at least ask India to lift the siege on Kashmir.

“We are very thankful that the president has taken a very principled stance,” said Khan, adding Pakistan has a “very good relationship” with Turkey. 

He also said Erdogan will visit Islamabad next month.

Erdogan told the body that a solution to the Kashmir issue can only be found through dialogue and the Kashmir issue has awaited a solution for 72 years. 

“In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbors, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision,” said Erdogan.

He said Kashmiris are “virtually under blockade with 8 million people, unfortunately, unable to step outside of Kashmir.”

The official Twitter account of the Pakistan government also shared Erdogan’s words on Kashmir with his picture in a banner. 

“We salute President Erdogan for forcefully raising the issue of occupied Kashmir in his address today to the UN General Assembly and also referring to UN resolutions on the issue,” said Pakistan’s envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi.

Thousands of people from Pakistan and Kashmir have also flooded social media with messages thanking Erdogan for mentioning Kashmir in his speech. 

#OurVoiceErdogan became the top trending hashtag on Twitter, garnering nearly 300,000 tweets in a few hours. 

The India-administered region has been dealing with a clampdown since Aug. 5, when the Indian government nixed Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which conferred it special status.

Hundreds of people, mostly political leaders, have been detained or arrested by authorities since the action.

India and Pakistan hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

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