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Was Erdogan’s Kashmir proposal a planned move?

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Was Erdogan’s Kashmir proposal a planned move?

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The Turkish strongman’s offer to mediate in the Kashmir issue is a reflection of his strong ties with Pakistan.

By Abu Turab

The recent visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to New Delhi, with an appeal to India and Pakistan to start multilateral dialogue for resolving the Kashmir issue was overwhelmingly welcomed by the Pakistani media.

Erdogan, in his pre-visit interview to India’s WION TV channel, asked the two countries to “build bridges, strengthen dialogue between stakeholders” to resolve Kashmir dispute. It was welcomed by Pakistani press as “pleasant surprise” since, it believes, “the international community has tended to stay away from the problem”.

Erdogan reportedly said that both India and Pakistan are Turkey’s friends and they must keep the channels for dialogue open and engage different stakeholders. He said, “India is our friend in the region. Pakistan is our friend in the region. And there are certain aspects that contribute tremendously to our ancient relations. In terms of faith, in India, we have followers of the Muslim faith. And, in Pakistan, there are Muslims and this brings us even closer.

India, however, dismissed the proposal of multilateral dialogue. Gopal Baglay, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a veiled reference to Pakistan, that the Kashmir issue has a “prominent dimension of cross-border terrorism” that needs to be stopped by “those who are perpetuating it”. He further elaborated that “our case essentially was that Kashmir is an issue of terrorism that has dogged us for 40 years”.

Describing the reason of its opposition to multilateral dialogue, the spokesperson said, “We are ready to address any issue between India and Pakistan bilaterally through peaceful means as has been stipulated in the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration.” India was always ready to talk about Kashmir and all other issues with Pakistan so that “peaceful solutions can be found bilaterally,” Bagley added.

The Karachi-based newspaper Dawn, in its editorial published on May 3, said “President Erdogan showed the statesman’s way forward by broaching the subject of Kashmir with the Indian media ahead of his trip to India.” It advised that “other international leaders should take their cue from the Turkish leader and demonstrate a courageous and principled stand by speaking directly to India about the need for it to move forward on the Kashmir dispute”.

The News International, another Pakistani newspaper published from Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, in its editorial, said that India’s economic and political clout has made Kashmir a diplomatic minefield and for Erdogan to try to step in, and that too he was about to embark on an important visit to India, took moral courage. It further says that Erdogan’s offer to lead international talks on Kashmir is in keeping with what he said about the disputed region while visiting Islamabad last year, where he took the position that the movement there (in Kashmir) was one of genuine liberation.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Times, in its editorial, while commenting on Erdogan’s adventurist statement on Kashmir, said  that Erdogan, a friend of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has repeatedly expressed support for Islamabad’s positions over Delhi’s, and this has come in the way of deeper ties between India and Turkey. He has also supported position of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Kashmir.

It would be interesting to note that Sana Ahmed Sani, a regular author for Pakistan ka Khuda Hafiz (www.pakistankakhudahifiz.com), in her article, Historical overview of Pakistan-Turkey relations, described the issue on November 27, 2016. “Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir conflict is openly supported by Turkey. It also recognises Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan and the Turkish Ambassador spent a week in the capital of Azad Kashmir (what India know as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)), Muzaffarabad, to show Turkish solidarity with Pakistan.” She also reminded President Recep Erdogan’s recent address in Parliament when he reportedly said, “We know well the pain and problems of Kashmiris and we condemn the brutality of India in Kashmir.”

Sana further writes, “Turkey also maintained military and political support during the wars with India. …Large number of Turks volunteered to fight for Pakistan against India and a number of nurses to serve Pakistan flew in from there. In December 1965, the then President Ayub Khan visited Turkey and expressed his profound gratitude to the Turkish President Gural for the moral and material support during Indo-Pak war in 1965.”

Turkish Foreign Ministry website says, “positive reflection of the excellent bilateral relations can also be seen in the international fora.” Turkey and Pakistan are supporting each other in all international platforms. Pakistan also adopts a highly supportive approach on international matters, which are of special interest to Turkey.

Meanwhile, after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Erdogan condemned all forms of terrorism. “Turkey will always be by the side of India in full solidarity while battling terrorism,” he said.  He condemned the recent terrorist attack on April 24 on CRPF personnel by Maoists in Sukma, Chhattisgarh.

President Erdogan said India was a strategic partner to Turkey because of its location, resources and its economy. The present trade volume between two countries is at around $6.5 billion which should be increased to at least $10 billion as soon as possible, he added. The Turkish President said the two countries will look at ways to expand cooperation in the energy and infrastructure sectors, in particular.

Similarly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during their bilateral talks, two leaders took stock of all political, economic and cultural engagements. He talked of encouraging stronger partnership of Turkish companies with Indian government’s flagship programmes.

Analysts believe that President Erdogan’s India visit at a time when Kashmir was experiencing turmoil was of utmost importance. He proposed multilateral dialogue for “resolving” Kashmir issue, which was completely against India’s longstanding policy of Kashmir being a bilateral issue. Even Pakistani media expressed pleasant surprise on Erdogan’s statement proposing multilateral dialogue on Kashmir.

It would be interesting to an eye on the progress in the bilateral economic and trade ties between the two countries. If the intention was just to rake the Kashmir issue on the international arena, then implementation of the memorandums of understanding signed during the visit will experience slow progress. Some analysts believe that Erdogan, in a desire to rise as a towering leader of the region, has thrown his hat into the most vexed issue in the region. He probably wished to project his image as a strong leader among Muslim nations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.

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Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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