Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday said that Kashmir remains a core issue between India and Pakistan, adding that the matter can be resolved through dialogue. The cricketer-turned-politician’s PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the Pakistan general elections.
“Kashmiris have been suffering for long. Their human rights have been violated for the past several years. We have to solve Kashmir issue by sitting across the table. If India’s leadership is willing, then both of us can solve this issue through dialogue. It will be good for the subcontinent also,” said Khan while addressing the nation while heading towards victory in the general elections.
“If India comes and takes one step towards us, we will take two steps toward them. Right now it is one sided where India is constantly just blaming us,” he added.
Khan also said that he is appointed with the Indian media for portraying him as a “villain” in the past few weeks. “As far as India is concerned, I was disappointed with how Indian media portrayed me in the past few weeks. As a villain. I am that Pakistani who has travelled through India because of my cricket,” he said.
“We want to improve our relations with India, if their leadership also wants it. This blame game that whatever goes wrong in Pakistan’s Balochistan is because of India and vice versa brings us back to square one,” he said.
“This is not how we will grow, and it is detrimental to the sub-continent,” he added.
Heaping praises on Pakistan’s all-weather ally China, Khan said that he wants to works towards success of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), adding that the country should learn from the latter how to eradicate poverty and corruption.
“We will strengthen and improve our relations with China. We want to work towards success of CPEC. We also want to send teams to learn poverty alleviation from China. How to lift our most poor who can’t even eat two meals a day,” said Khan.
“The second thing we can learn from China is how they curbed corruption and set the example that corruption does not pay,” he added.
Speaking on Afghanistan, the cricketer-turned-politician said the neighbouring country has seen the most “human misery in the name of wars”, adding that Pakistan wants peace there. “Afghanistan is that neighbour of ours that has seen the most human misery and damage in the name of wars. The people of Afghanistan need peace, and Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan,” he said.
“We want to work in every possible way to ensure peace in Afghanistan. I would love an open border system like the EU with Afghanistan,” he added.
Imran Khan began his address to the nation by thanking God to give him the chance to fulfil his dream of serving the nation. He said he had joined politics because he wanted to make Pakistan a nation “as envisioned by Jinnah”.
“I came into politics because I wanted make Pakistan a country that Jinnah had envisioned. This has been a historic election,” he said.
Khan said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf will work towards on lifting the poor, labourers and farmers. He said his party’s focus will be on justice, equality and opportunities. Khan said female pregnancy mortality rate was one of the highest in Pakistan and the highest number of children die in the court of drinking dirty water.
Khan said no other leader in Pakistan had seen personal attacks like he had in the last three years. “But I have forgotten it all and it is behind me. This is bigger than Imran Khan. This is about the country,” he said.
Preliminary and unofficial poll results on Thursday indicated that Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has obtained a clear edge over the other parties, leading in over 119 National Assembly seats, a day after Pakistan voted for its second consecutive democratic transfer of power.
Although PTI workers and supporters started celebrations before the final results, no statement — or even a tweet — has been issued by the former cricketer himself on the results.
A single party will need at least 137 of the directly elected seats to be able to form the government on its own.
Jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won 43 seats and was leading in 20 constituencies while Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by former president Asif Ali Zardari won 18 seats and its candidates were leading in 19 seats.
On allegations of “blatant rigging” by PML-N, PPP and other parties, Khan said he is ready for any kind of investigation into the claims by the opposition.
“Anyone who has issues of rigging; we will help you facilitate and we will open up any constituency that you want for investigation. When we asked for probes, we were not facilitated but now we will do it differently,” he said.