Akram/Mustafa – September 23, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the international community to ask India to lift curfew in occupied Kashmir as the people of the area have been facing a lockdown for last fifty days.
He was speaking at a Question-Answer session at the Council on Foreign Relations as a special guest in New York on Monday.
Regarding the illegal Indian act of annexing occupied Kashmir, Imran Khan said Kashmir is a disputed territory between Pakistan and India as recognized by UN Security Council resolutions.
He said the international community should play a due role in resolution of the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan and India are two nuclear armed states and any conflict between them can have negative impacts beyond South Asia.
He said the world should intervene to resolve the situation.
Imran Khan said the ruling party in India is pursuing an agenda of racist Hindu supremacy of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
The Prime Minister said just after coming to power he extended a hand of cooperation and resolving all issues with India on the dialogue table, but his offer was not well responded by the rulers of New Delhi.
He said Pakistan and India have common issues like poverty and climate change, which need to be addressed together.
He said we urged India to reset our relations based on mutual interest.
He also made it clear that we will allow no terrorist group on our soil.
To a question about restoring peace in Afghanistan, Imran Khan reiterated that there is no military solution to the situation in Afghanistan.
He said talks are the only solution to restore peace in the war-torn country.
He said it is unfortunate that peace process was halted when a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban was about to sign.
He said Pakistan has always supported peace endeavors in Afghanistan and he will try to convince US President Donald Trump to resume talks with Taliban.
To another question, he said Pakistan suffered a material loss of 200 billion dollars and rendered sacrifice of 70,000 lives since it joined US war against terrorism.
Answering a questioner, Imran Khan said every peace effort and policy of his government has complete backing of the armed forces of the country as both the civilian and the military leaderships are on the same page in taking the country forward.
Regarding a question about going to International Monetary Fund, Imran Khan said wrong economic policies of the previous governments caused huge current account deficit due to which his government was compelled to go for an IMF programme.
He said now the current account deficit has decreased and efforts are being made to put the economy on right track.
Replying to a question, the Prime Minister said China provided foreign exchange reserve and saved Pakistan from default.
He said we signed a Preferential Trade Agreement with China to enhance our exports, while Beijing is also helping us by relocating industry to Pakistan.
Answering a question regarding former US defence secretary James Mattis’ remark that he considered Pakistan to be the most dangerous among all countries he had dealt with, Prime Minister Imran said he do think James Mattis fully understands why Pakistan became radicalised.
Recalling history’s pages, he said in the 1980s, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan, with US cooperation, organised the resistance against Soviets.
He said Pakistani ISI trained Jihadist, who were invited from all over the Muslim world to do jihad against the Soviet Union. He said we created these militant groups to fight the Soviets in the name of Jihad and they were heroes then.
He said the United States abandoned Afghanistan in 1989 and we were left with these groups.
Imran Khan said then comes 9/11, and Pakistan again joins the US in the war on terror and now we are required to go after these groups as terrorists.
They were indoctrinated that fighting foreign occupation is jihad but now when the US arrived in Afghanistan, it was supposed to be terrorism.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan should have stayed neutral in the conflict and Pakistani government should not have pledged what they could not deliver.