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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Our only dispute with India is on Kashmir, dialogue only solution: Imran in Lanka

Pitching for a solution under United Nations resolutions, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that Kashmir is the only dispute between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Khan who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka, made the remarks while addressing the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference in Colombo, which he co-chaired with his counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Pakistan Prime Minister said that he offered the Indian government a chance to hold peace talks with Islamabad after getting elected but nothing came out of it. “Our only dispute is on Kashmir and it can only be resolved through dialogue and through United Nations resolutions,” he said.

“Immediately when I came into power, I approached our neighbour India and explained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the way forward for the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue,” Khan said.

“I didn’t succeed but I am optimistic that eventually sense will prevail. The only way the subcontinent can tackle poverty is by improving trade relations,” he added.

Ties between India and Pakistan nosedived after an attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

The relations deteriorated after India in August 2019 announced withdrawing special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state.

He underscored the importance of peaceful resolution of differences, saying “we want to resolve all disputes in the subcontinent through dialogue.”

Khan said that Pakistan can play a role in bridging the gap between China and the United States.

“Terrorism has affected both Pakistan and Sri Lanka and counties in the region can end poverty by establishing trade relations.”

He also suggested the formation of a bloc along the lines of the European Union to promote trade.

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