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Monday, December 5, 2022

Pulwama attack aftermath could’ve spiralled out of control: Imran says only issue with India is Kashmir dispute

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the unresolved Kashmir issue is a cause for concern and Pakistan and India should resolve it like good neighbours on the dialogue table.

“If this issue keeps continuing, there is always a chance that nuclear powers could be confronting each other. So the answer to your question is, yes it concerns me,” Prime Minister Khan said during an interview to CNN on Sunday.

“And our only issue is Kashmir and we should solve it like good neighbours on the dialogue table,” he said.

India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of hostility and violence.

In response to a question during the CNN interview that a miscalculation on the border could spiral out of control, Khan agreed that the 2019 Pulwama attack in Kashmir and the military standoff following it could have escalated.

“It could easily have escalated,” Khan said, adding that that is why he urged the then US President Donald Trump that as the most powerful country, “it is very important that we solve this Kashmir issue.”

Talking about his relations in India, Khan said that he is probably one of those Pakistanis who knows and understands India much more than the rest of his countrymen, probably all over the world because of his friendships in India- whether it was media or politicians.

“So the moment my government came into power, the first thing I did was reach out to India. And I said, look you come one step towards us, we’ll go two towards you,” he was quoted as saying.

“I tried everything, made overtures,” he said while blaming RSS ideology for not making any headway in normalising bilateral ties.

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after an attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by militant groups based in the neighbouring country.

Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

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