Have to be prepared in case Kashmir issue is raised: Suriname ahead of UNGA

NEW DELHI: The issue of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status may be raised on the margins of the UN general assembly and Suriname has to be prepared for it, the country’s Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin has said.

He, however, asserted that Suriname believes in dialogue but “does not promote interference” in internal affairs of other countries.

Adhin was interacting with reporters on the sidelines of an event here on Thursday.

“There is a possibility the issue (of Kashmir) could do raised on the margins (of the UNGA),” he said, when asked about Suriname’s views on the Article 370 issue.

Early August, the Modi government had abrogated provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Since the abrogation, the issue has drawn global attention.

Adhin said he will be representing his country at the UNGA on September 26 and also at the India-Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).

“Suriname will not raise the issue,” he said when asked about his visit to attend the UNGA and the Kashmir issue.

“But, I guess, the issue will be raised. So, we have to be prepared,” Adhin said.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will co-chair two important meetings—India Pacific Islands Leaders meeting and India-Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).

“I will be meeting PM Modi on the sidelines of the UNGA, and the issue of Article 370 related to Kashmir perhaps could figure,” the Surinamese vice president said.

Meanwhile, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Thursday said the focus of Prime Minister Modi’s week-long visit to the US from Saturday to attend the UNGA will not be on terrorism, but on highlighting India’s achievements and its global role.

He also asserted that abrogation of sections of Article 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal issue and off the agenda at the United Nations.

In a dinner reception hosted on Thursday for him by NGO National First, Adhin appealed to Indian companies to invest in Suriname.

“Agriculture and tourism are two major sectors where there is a huge potential for cooperation between the two countries. And, we are also going to open our airspace,” he said.

Adhin said he was visiting India on the invitation of two educational institutions.

On Thursday, he gave a lecture at Delhi University and on Wednesday attended the convocation of Lovely Professional University in Punjab which also conferred on him an honorary doctorate degree in Vedic studies.

“India and Suriname ties go back to nearly 150 years when the first ship carrying Indian labourers arrived in our country. The language Bhojpuri also connects the two countries which people of Indian-origin in my county have kept alive,” said the 39-year-old leader.

Senior BJP leaders Sakshi Maharaj, Manoj Tiwari, Yoga guru Ramdev, among others also attended the event. (agencies)