Build Trust, Put Kashmir On Back Burner: Imran Khan

Build Trust, Put Kashmir On Back Burner: Imran Khan

13 November 2011
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Pakistani opposition leader and Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan has said that terror groups will have no place in Pakistan if his party comes to power. Speaking exclusively to Karan Thapar on Devil's advocate, Imran added that for Indo-Pak ties to improve, the Kashmir issue should be put on the back burner for a while. In response to a question on whether he believed that Kashmir was a core issue between India and Pakistan, Imran said Its a core issue because without Kashmir, you will always have a possibility of going back to square one. No matter how much confidence building measures you have, if something happens in Kashmir or because of Kashmir, we dont know, maybe some sort of terror attacks happens from within Kashmir on India, Im scared, like Mumbai; whatever happens comes back to square one. Its the only issue. What else is stopping us? Imran said, in response to question on whether he was speaking about Kashmir on the lines of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Asked if he had a solution to the Kashmir problem if he ever became a prime minister of Pakistan, Imran said: Well, whatever the issue is, first of all, it should not be enforced through militancy. So whatever policy we have it should be political dialogue. And I also believe that we should have other confidence building measures on the way. We should have trade; we should have more linkages, people-to-people contact. I thought at one point we were getting really close. When the Indian team came here, I think 2005 or 2006, I have never seen two countries as close as that. So, its very sad that Mumbai happened and we were back to square one. So, therefore, I would like to think that we will deal with the Kashmir issue in a more civilised way. I would like to think that India will start, if it has confidence that no militancy is coming from Pakistan, withdrawing its Army from Kashmir. In response to another question, Imran said: I think that the more confidence we build with each other, the more trade we have, the more trust we develop and the moment militancy or intelligence agency roles disappear and the more we solve our issues on the dialogue table thats the only way forward.


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