New Delhi/Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that Islamabad is putting in efforts to initiate a dialogue with India but a positive response from New Delhi, on the same, has not yet been received. Terming the situation as ‘bizarre’, he raked up the Kashmir issue and asserted that stability in his country can only be achieved if Pakistan and India sit down and resolve the differences.
The Pakistan PM is currently on a 2-day visit to Turkey. “We are trying to have a dialogue. Trying to move towards friendly a relationship with India. We had a stand off with India and India refuses to talk to Pakistan under the pretext that until Pakistan stops terrorism India will not talk to us. Its a bizarre situation where we feel how can you move forward if there is no dialogue.”
Adding further, he said that Pakistan obviously wants stability because ‘we want economic progress which doesn’t come without stability and stability will only take place when Pakistan and India sit down and resolve the differences’.
Raking up the Kashmir issue, the Pakistan Prime Minister said, “The basic problem about bitter relations between Pakistan and India is due to Kashmir issue.”
This is not first time Pakistan’s Prime Minister has raked up the Kashmir issue and linked it with the dialogue with India. During the ground breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor on the Pakistani side in November 2018, he had said, “Our political leaders, our army are on one page. We want a civilised relationship with India. We have one problem, Kashmir. If man can walk on the moon, what problems are there that we cannot resolve.”
India has been saying talks and terror cant go together. In his first interview of 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “Whether UPA or NDA, no government never opposed dialogue (with Pakistan) but amid the noise of bombs and guns, the dialogue cannot be heard.”
India has now and then tried to engage in talks with Pakistan. In December 2015 taking a step ahead, PM Modi made a stop at Lahore. However, soon a major terror attack on Indian Army base in Pathankot marred the building of ties.
In 2018, the foreign minister of both the countries agreed to meet on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly. However, New Delhi cancelled the meeting following the killing of security personnel by Pakistan-based entities in Jammu and Kashmir.
(Inputs from Sidhant Sibal/Anas Mallick/WION)