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Pakistan seeks Turkey’s help to run anti-India campaign

Ankara is attempting to extend its influence to Muslims in South Asia

Left with just a couple of friends in the global community and faced with the grim reality of finding no takers for its propaganda at international fora, Pakistan is now eyeing Turkey as a launchpad for its anti-India campaign. Urging Turkish media to focus on Kashmir and build a narrative against India is one such step taken recently by the Imran Khan government. 

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported earlier this week that Pakistan has asked the media in Turkey to "play their role" in spotlighting various issues related to Kashmir. It quoted Pakistani politician Shehryar Afridi, who serves as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir, as saying that his government is "employing modern media tools to protect the heritage of Kashmir."

Afridi was speaking in Islamabad during the launch of a 'Turkey Urdu' website on Thursday, an event which was also attended by Mustafa Yurdakul, the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan.  

Emphasizing that the "hearts of Turks and Pakistanis beat for each other", Yurdakul assured the audience that the "Turkish media is available to Pakistan to present its good image abroad."

It wouldn't be for the first time the Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan lends a helping hand to Pakistan.  

Erdogan, while addressing a joint session of the Pakistani Parliament for a record fourth time last year, had likened the "struggle" of the Kashmiris with that of his country in World War I against the foreign domination. "There is no difference between Gallipoli and Kashmir," he had said while drawing comparison with the battle of Gallipoli between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey has repeatedly raked the Kashmir issue at global platforms like the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) sessions – an act massively slammed by India in the past. 

"We have seen remarks by President of Turkey on Indian UT of Jammu and Kashmir. They constitute gross interference in India's internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its policies more deeply," India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti, had said last September after Erdogan made comments on Kashmir during his speech at the UNGA. 

Greek media had also reported on how, after Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus, Turkey has started preparing its gangs in Syria to send them to Kashmir to fight for Pakistan against India. It said that by sending its mercenaries to Kashmir, Ankara is attempting to extend its influence to Muslims in South Asia which comes as part of Erdogan's ongoing steps to challenge Saudi Arabia's dominance of the Islamic world.

IndiaNarrative.com had reported about a recent meeting of the Turkey-Pakistan High-Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG) where transfer of missile technology and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) dominated the discussions to fulfil Ankara’s ambition to emerge as the world's next nuclear weapon power.

The youngsters in Pakistan are also being lured by Turkish drama series like Dirilis Ertugrul which promotes incidents of radicalism from the past and are said to be a part of Erdogan's wider plan to revive the Ottoman Empire.

The Indian security agencies too are aware of the massive efforts being made by the Erdogan regime to radicalize Indian Muslims by funding Kashmiri separatist leaders, non-government organizations, student exchange programmes and also agitations against Article 370 and the Citizenship Amendment Act.