EXCLUSIVE: Ex-PM Mahathir admits his comments on Kashmir strained India-Malaysia ties

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 07, 2020, 10.13 PM(IST)

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Photograph:( Reuters )

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He also said that traditionally the relations with India have 'been very good' in an exclusive interview to WION's Executive Editor Palki Sharma

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad admitted in an exclusive interview to WION's Executive Editor Palki Sharma that the relations between Malaysia and India deteriorated because of his comments on Kashmir. 

"Well, it did because of my remarks on Kashmir. But, other than that the relationship was very good, even under my leadership," Mahathir said when asked whether the relations between both countries were hit. 

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The former  Malaysian prime minister added that traditionally the relations with India have "been very good".

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"As you know we have a lot of people of Indian origin here in Malaysia and they still have connections in India."

However, the ex-PM said "some minor glitches" affected the relations, but, "very quickly we overcome such strains in our relationship".

He also hinted towards good relations with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his former counterpart was one of the earlier PMs who called him up when he won his second term. 

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"Apparently, we had met a long time ago, although I had forgotten and he was able to show a picture of us together from a long time ago, before he became the prime minister," Mahathir said.

"Well, we always want to maintain good relations, whoever may be the prime minister of India, it’s not something that we should take into consideration. Whoever is the prime minister we will develop good relations with the prime minister."

On his comments on Kashmir, he said he was speaking on events all over the world where some wrongs have been committed. 

"It is not about supporting Pakistan, it is about the people of Kashmir," he added.