Pak PM Imran Khan says no to military solution for Kashmir, ready for talks

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Srinagar: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that he was ready for talks on any issue and there can’t be a military solution for Kashmir.

“Kashmir is an issue for Pakistan, especially when we see daily pictures of violence on social media. We want to resolve this, everything can be resolved. We are willing to wait for (general) elections to get over in India for a gesture from New Delhi,” Khan said.

He also added that he was ready to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi but gestures can’t be one sided.

While addressing Indian journalists, Khan added that “everything can be resolved.” He addressed many current political issues, including Kartarpur corridor, alleged Pakistan-backed terrorism, and religious tourism.

Talking about the ground-breaking foundation of Kartarpur corridor on Wednesday, Khan said, “It (Kartarpur corridor) has been received very positively in Pakistan. There is a consensus in Pakistan for peace, don’t think of it as desperation for peace.”

He also talked about the intentions to promote religious tourism mentioning the discovery of a 40ft statue of Buddha near the capital city Islamabad. He told that Pakistan is also considering the proposals to open the Sharda Peeth in Kashmir, Katasraj and few other Hindu shrines as well.

After the opening of Kartarpur, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti had said that Sharda Peeth should be opened too.

Answering a question on allegations of Pakistan backing terrorism on its own soil, Khan said that it is not in Pakistan’s interest to use their soil for terrorism against others. He also added that he cant be held responsible for the past activities.

Talking about Hafiz Saeed, the master-mind behind 26/11 attack in Mumbai, Khan said that there are UN sanctions against him and already a clampdown. He also mentioned that other 26/11 accused are under judicial consideration.

Mentioning the sour bilateral relations with India, Khan told that he tried to reach out to India from the very first day of his term. “But I got a bad response when the meeting at the UN was cancelled. We decided that we could wait for a response until elections in India,” he said.

Mentioning about the Kashmir issue, Khan claimed that in the past there was some solution discussed during Musharraf’s time, “I don’t know if that can work. But we will only know if we talk. Adding to it Khan said, “Grand gestures are possible (regarding action on terror) but we need some response from the other side (India) as well.”

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