HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

'Fine if Modi comes to power, peace comes first'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 07, 2013
First Published: 21:10 IST(7/12/2013) | Last Updated: 13:01 IST(15/11/2014)

Pakistan is not fretting over a BJP government coming to power in India after general elections next year or Narendra Modi heading it either, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said on Saturday.

“Who gets elected in India is not Pakistan’s business. It is the business of the people of India,” said Khan at the closing session of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader appeared to be taking a cue from the past.

“We had concerns about a BJP government when they came to power in India for the first time. But they were the ones who reached out to us, they did quite a lot for improving the India-Pakistan relationship,” Khan said, referring to the NDA government of Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Making a strong pitch for revival of peace talks and resolution of the Kashmir issue, Khan put forward an out-of-the-box idea of India and Pakistan jointly running a civil nuclear plant along the border for enlarging the constituency for peace.

It should be “owned and operated jointly by the two countries and should be supplying power to both countries”.

Pakistan’s world-cup winning cricket captain drew heavily from post-World War II Europe where once warring countries are now living in peace.

Coal and steel plants along the border, he said, had always enlarged the constituency of peace.

Read More: Resolving Kashmir issue is solution to all India-Pak problems, says Imran

In his special address themed ‘India and Pakistan: Working Things Out’, Khan played statesman and politician at the same time as he  negotiated a slew of topics, such as his pro-Taliban image, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, peace in the region — all this while pitching for a “visionary leadership” in the two countries to sort out common issues.

He urged the two countries to take a lesson from China on addressing poverty. “In the past 20 years, China has taken 400 million people out of poverty. That is remarkable.”

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