Sardar Masood Khan the President of Pakistan-administered Kashmir has admired the principled stance of Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad and his government concern on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to Malaysian High Commissioner Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim in Islamabad, Khan said people of Jammu & Kashmir, and Pakistan are beholden to the Malaysian Prime Minister for his remarks at the UN General Assembly.
Sardar Masood also welcomed Mahathir’s call for dialogue, negotiations, arbitration or any other form of diplomacy to resolve the long-standing Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
Meanwhile, Mohamad has decided to step down and pledged to hand over power to his successor Anwar Ibrahim.
Mahathir, 94, told Reuters in an interview that he would not hand over before a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries that Malaysia is to host in November but could be ready after that.
“I made a promise to hand over and I will, accepting that I thought that a change immediately before the APEC summit would be disruptive,” Mahathir said
As far I’m concerned, I’m stepping down and I’m handing the baton to him. If people don’t want him, that is their business, but I will do my part of the promise… irrespective of whatever allegation. I made my promise, I keep my promise.”
Asked if a handover could come in December 2020, Mahathir said: “We’ll look at that when the time comes.” The tumultuous association between the two men – allies turned fierce rivals who later reunited to win power – has shaped politics in the Southeast Asian country for decades.
PM Mahathir was surprisingly elected in 2018 as the head of a coalition government whose largest party is led by Anwar, 72, who has been jailed twice on separate counts of sodomy and for corruption – charges he says were political.
Last week, Anwar rejected fresh accusations by a former aide that he had tried to force him to have sex – describing the accusations as “politics at its worst”. It is Mahathir’s second stint as Malaysia’s PM, a post he previously held for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. Anwar was his deputy from 1993 to 1998, when the two fell out. Anwar was jailed the following year.
Although Mahathir pledged to hand over to Anwar during the 2018 election campaign, doubts grew over his plans when he later said he needed more time to drive the heavily-indebted nation out of its troubles first.