Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his country could not improve its trade with India as any normalization of relations with the neighboring country would be, what he called, a major' betrayal" of Kashmiris, according to a Dawn report
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his country could not improve its trade with India as any normalization of relations with the neighboring country would be, what he called, a major' betrayal" of Kashmiris, according to a Dawn report.
Interacting with the public in a live question and answer session, the premier said there was "no doubt" that the benefits would be immense if relations with India improved and trade and connectivity started, citing examples from other parts of the world such as the formation of the European Union which he said had benefitted all member countries.
"I tried since the first day after coming to power that we have (friendly) relations with India and the issue of Kashmir is resolved through dialogue, but (considering) the situation right now, if we normalize relations with India at this time we will be doing a major betrayal with the people of Kashmir," Imran said.
"There is no doubt that our trade will improve but all their blood will be wasted, so this cannot happen," the prime minister emphasized, saying Pakistan stood with the Kashmiris and was aware of the kind of sacrifices they had given and were giving.
The premier added that talks could be had and a roadmap to solve the Kashmir issue could be devised if India took back its actions of August 5, 2019.
India had repealed Article 370 of its constitution on August 5 that year that granted special powers to Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan had subsequently downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and then suspended bilateral trade with it.
United Nations General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, during his recent visit to Islamabad, had called on all parties to refrain from changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir and said a solution was to be found through peaceful means under the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolutions as agreed in the Simla Agreement between Pakistan and India.
The two neighbors have already fought three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and undeclared war in 1999 in Kargil, besides engaging in several border skirmishes and militant stand-offs. Except for 1971, Kashmir was both the theatre and the cause of the conflicts each time.