Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has expressed concern about tensions in Kashmir, urging India to follow a fair policy with respect to people of the Muslim-majority region.
“We maintain good relations with the Indian government, but the Indian government is expected to adopt a fair policy toward the decent people of Kashmir so that the Muslim people of the region are not put under pressure,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members in Tehran on Wednesday.
The Leader described the current situation in Kashmir and the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region as the ensuing result of Britain’s “malicious measures” when it departed the Indian subcontinent.
“To prolong the conflict in Kashmir, the British intentionally left this wound [open] in the region,” the Leader said.
Kashmir has been the scene of fresh protests and placed under a lockdown ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the Indian-administered region’s special status.
New Delhi claimed that the decision to strip the disputed Muslim-majority region of its semi-autonomy was necessary for Kashmir’s economic development and to stop “terrorism.”
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their partition and independence from Britain in 1947. The disputed region is claimed in full by both sides, which have fought three wars over it.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei touched on Iran’s current situation, saying all enemy plots against the country have been in vain over the past 40 years.
“You should not fear the enemy because this enemy has existed since the dawn of the Islamic Republic and has done anything it could but failed,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“America, Europe and even the defunct Soviet Union have done anything they could against the Islamic Republic over the past 40 years but they failed. Indeed, they caused harm and trouble but have not been able to hamper the Islam establishment’s progress,” he added.
Hailing the achievements and progress made by the country in political, defense and economic sectors, Ayatollah Khamenei said the enemy cannot do a damn thing against Iran, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s next 40 years will be better for Iran but worse for enemies.
The Leader urged government officials to turn sanctions into opportunities by weaning the country’s dependence off oil exports and relying more on domestic capabilities.
Ayatollah Khamenei described “domestic production” as key to solving existing problems and said, the best possible way to counter enemies’ acts of sabotage was shoring up production in different sectors.
The Leader also underlined the need for further interaction and cooperation among the three branches of the government toward overcoming problems and making progress.