India Pakistan: Malaysian PM plays safe as he refuses to take sides in Indo-Pak tensions


NEW DELHI: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has refused to take sides on Indo-Pak tensions during his official visit to Islamabad, in what can be viewed as a win for New Delhi as the Imran Khan government had invited the veteran leader to showcase support to it in the aftermath of the Balakot strikes.

Mahathir, who visited Islamabad for Pakistan national day celebrations stated that Malaysia would continue to maintain its good relationships with Pakistan and India and wouldn’t take sides in the event of a conflict.

Taking such a stand, Mahathir also illustrated indirectly that his three-day official visit to Pakistan did not mean that Malaysia had chosen its side.

“We cannot side with anyone. I think this, allowing terrorists to have this upper hand, is very dangerous. We must stop terrorists, both sides must prevent acts of terrorism. When terrorists fight, they just want to take revenge,” he told reporters. Mahathir has been a strong proponent of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in his earlier innings as the Prime Minister, but is now keen to expand ties with India.

“They (terrorists) cannot conquer. What can they do? …kill people. Is that what humanity is fated for? We don’t want to take sides with anyone, but we appreciate the problems (the countries) they face,” he said at a press conference at Nur Khan Airbase before leaving for Malaysia, after concluding his visit to Pakistan.

A number of OIC member states have extended support to India’s right to defend after the Pulwama terror strikes as India sought to build a broad coalition against cross-border terror.


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