Imran harps on Kashmir for talks to resume

Demands India to restore the pre-August 5, 2019 status of Jammu and Kashmir, reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that Pakistan would hold talks with India if New Delhi restores the pre-August 5, 2019 status of Jammu and Kashmir.

India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5, 2019 and bifurcated it into two Union territories.

“If Pakistan revives its relations with India (without the latter restoring the status of Kashmir), it will be similar to turning our back on the Kashmiris,” Khan said during a live questions and answers session with the people.

Khan said that if India takes back the steps it took on August 5, “then we can definitely hold talks”.

New Delhi has repeatedly said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the country is capable of solving its own problems.

India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with it in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

Ties between India and Pakistan nosedived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

The relationship dipped further after India’s war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.

The relations deteriorated after India announced withdrawing special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

However, lately there has been some improvement when the two countries agreed in February to restore peace on the Line of Control. It is said that the rival officials have been interacting through the back channel diplomacy to ease tension.

Khan also responded to several questions about domestic issues including inflation and promised that his government was working hard to bring down prices of commodities. He also said that Pakistan will continue to achieve economic growth in the days to come as he termed the process gradual and one that would take time.

Last week, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take decisive measures and ensure implementation of the UN Charter and the UN Security Council Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and play a key role in resolving the longstanding dispute.

Indian-Army-soldiers-in-Jammu-and-Kashmir

“Pakistan desires normal relations with India, however, the onus is on India to create an atmosphere to enable meaningful engagement,” the Minister said during his interaction with the Guterres in New York.

Qureshi also renewed his invitation to India for a dialogue and said that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute is through talks, based on the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“India is running away from table talks with Pakistan on Kashmir,” he said.

Qureshi briefed Guterres about what he called serious human rights violations in the “Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir”, including incarceration of political leaders and extra-judicial killings.

The Foreign Minister also brushed aside the criticism on Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, by the opposition political parties, for selling of the Kashmir cause, stating that the premier can never compromise on the Kashmir cause as he is the “Ambassador of the Kashmir cause and is the voice of the people of Kashmiris to the world”.

“Let this be clear, Pakistan’s position on the issue of Kashmir is very clear. There can be no talks until India reverses its decision of August 5, 2019,” he insisted.

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