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'Raised matter with Iranian side': India after Pakistan, Iran mention Kashmir in joint statement

Pakistan and Iran issued a joint statement saying the Kashmir issue should be resolved "through peaceful means" after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi concluded his visit. India has repeatedly said that Kashmir is an internal matter and foreign countries shouldn't interfere.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Published on: April 25, 2024 18:08 IST
Pakistan, Iran, Kashmir issue, India
Image Source : REUTERS (FILE) Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif with Iranian President Ebraham Raisi in Islamabad.

New Delhi: The Kashmir issue was recently mentioned in a joint statement by Pakistan and Iran after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi embarked on a three-day visit to the former nation. India, which enjoys friendly relations with Tehran, has now raised the matter with the Iranian side, according to the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday.

"We have taken up the matter with Iranian authorities," MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on being asked how India sees the joint statement on the Kashmir issue. India has always maintained a firm position that Kashmir is its internal matter and has categorically asserted on multiple occasions that no foreign countries or entities should interfere over the issue.

After Raisi concluded his maiden visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, a joint statement issued by Tehran and Islamabad said the Kashmir issue should be resolved through "peaceful means based on the will of the people" of the region. President Raisi paid an official visit to Pakistan from April 22-24 at the invitation of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and was accompanied by a high-level delegation.

Shehbaz Sharif raised Kashmir matter with Raisi

It stated that taking note of developments at regional and global levels, both sides stressed the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and diplomacy to find mutually acceptable solutions to common challenges. “Both sides highlighted the need to resolve the issue of Kashmir through dialogue and peaceful means based on the will of the people of that region, and in accordance with international law,” it stated.

During a joint press conference after their talks on Monday, Shehbaz raked up the Kashmir issue and thanked Iran for its stance. However, the Iranian President refrained from mentioning Kashmir and instead talked about Iran's support for those fighting against oppression especially in Palestine, creating an impression that he had snubbed the desire of the Pakistani leader to say something on the issue.

Iran's stance on the Kashmir issue 

Notably, both India and Iran share good diplomatic relations. However, Iranian leaders, have always supported Pakistan's side on matters related to Kashmir. The Leader has often issued statements of support and solidarity with the people of Kashmir and he mentions the "just struggle" of Palestinians and Kashmiris in every sermon (a speech on a religious or moral subject). 

According to a report by Tehran Times, Iran's position on Kashmir, clearly spelt out by Imam Khomeini, has been consistent since the Islamic revolution of 1979. Imam, who according to some historians traces his roots to Kashmir, had once made it categorically clear to a visiting Indian delegation that the ties between the two countries would not improve until the bloodletting in Kashmir continued. His successor has followed the same line on Kashmir, which is reflected in his statements and sermons.

Raisi arrived on Monday with a large delegation to promote ties about three months after the relationship suffered a setback due to tit-for-tat air strikes against each other, apparently to hit terrorists. The statement said both leaders agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism.

(with inputs from agencies)

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