Malaysian PM Mahatir Mohammad emerges as true friend of Pakistan

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Malaysian PM Mahatir Mohammad emerges as true friend of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says he will not take back his criticism in September of India's actions in the disputed region of Kashmir, even as Indian companies plan to stop buying Malaysian palm oil.

Mahathir told reporters outside parliament in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday that he stood by his comments on the Indian-administered Kashmir.

"We speak our minds, and we don't retract or change," the veteran politician said. "What we are saying is we should all abide by resolutions of the (United Nations). Otherwise, what is the use of the UN?"

Last month, Mahathir said at the UN General Assembly that India had "invaded and occupied" Kashmir and asked New Delhi to work with Pakistan, which disputes the region with India, to resolve the issue.

In 1948 and in the 1950s, the UN Security Council adopted several resolutions on the dispute over Kashmir, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of the Himalayan region.

Kashmir remains a flashpoint since the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. The nuclear-armed countries claim the region in full but control only parts of it.

On August 5, India scrapped the semi-autonomy of its part of Kashmir, sparking a new wave of tensions over the region. The administration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed restrictions on people's movements and communications in Kashmir to curb unrest there, calling it an internal matter and criticizing countries that have spoken out against the move.

OpEd