Not in Pakistan’s interest to let its soil be used for terrorism: Imran Khan

KC Web Desk

It is not in Pakistan’s interest to allow anyone to use our soil for terrorism, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday, a day after he underscored unanimity within the country’s civilian and military leadership for better ties with India at the Kartarpur corridor event.

Khan, who spoke to a group of visiting Indian journalists at the Prime Minister’s office, said Pakistan could only try.

“We can try but the rest is up to India. What else can we do,” Imran Khan, who completes 100 days of his government today, said.

India has refused to resume talks with Pakistan, demanding that its neighbour first stop sponsoring terrorism in India. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had this week made it clear that India’s participation at a possible SAARC Summit in Islamabad would also depend on Pakistan’s approach towards terror and the Kartarpur corridor gesture wasn’t enough to resume bilateral dialogue.

In the past, Islamabad has suggested that India’s reluctance on resumption of dialogue was dictated the ruling BJP-led national coalition’s political compulsions ahead of next year’s general elections.

Imran Khan alluded to this perception on Thursday as well. Pakistan, he said, is willing to wait till after the Indian elections for any gesture from Delhi for resumption of bilateral relations.

Asked about the action taken by Islamabad against 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Prime Minister Khan said there were United Nations sanctions against his group.

“There is a clampdown on him,” he said. As for the Mumbai terror attacks case, PM Khan said the case is in court and the matter is sub judice”.

Imran Khan said people in Pakistan want peace with India.

“The mindset of people here has changed,” Khan said, according to news agency PTI.

Imran Khan said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier and I would be happy to talk to him anytime. He remembers his first conversation with him as a “very good conversation”.

At his Kartarpur corridor event speech, Imran Khan had stressed that a “determined leadership” is needed in both countries to settle the Kashmir issue. The reference to Kashmir had riled New Delhi that hit back, condemning Khan’s effort to politicise “a pious occasion” with his mention of Kashmir.

Imran Khan said India needs to look at Kashmir differently and not as a territorial issue. Military solution and the use of force hasn’t worked in Kashmir, Khan said, adding that If nothing else, “we want the government of India to do something for the people of Kashmir”. HT