India not responding to Pakistan’s peace overtures: Imran Khan
Pakistan has repeatedly tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India, in August, passed laws and resolutions in Parliament bifurcating the erstwhile state into two Union territories and scrapping constitutional provisions that gave the region special status.Updated: Jan 18, 2020 05:05 IST
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan lashed out at India in an interview with DW, a German state-owned broadcaster, on Thursday, and claimed that New Delhi wasn’t responding to Islamabad’s peace overtures because of the “RSS ideology” of the ruling government in India.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Khan also admitted that the response of the international community to the Kashmir issue has been “lukewarm” perhaps because “commercial interests are more important for the Western countries” and “India is a big market”.
Pakistan has repeatedly tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India, in August, passed laws and resolutions in Parliament bifurcating the erstwhile state into two Union territories and scrapping constitutional provisions that gave the region special status. India has always maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one between it and Pakistan, a view supported by most international powers -- most recently earlier this week at the UN Security Council, where a China-sponsored move to informally discuss the issue was shot down.
Khan also added that Islamabad is willing to hold a referendum in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on whether the people want their independence or stay part of Pakistan. Interestingly, Pakistan has always claimed PoK is free. Earlier this week, India’s army chief said the army would make plans to retake PoK if so ordered to by the government.
Discussing the tensions with India, Khan said he made an effort to talk to the Indian government and Prime Minister Modi. “In my first speech as prime minister, I said that if India moved one step forward, we would take two steps towards them to resolve our differences. But I soon came to know that India did not respond well to my offer because of the RSS’s ideology. ”
Khan said it was unfortunate that the Hong Kong protests are getting much more international attention than Kashmir. “The tragedy of Kashmir is much greater….”
China is an all weather-ally of Pakistan.
Meanwhile in Washington, addressing a think tank, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said his country is not prepared to pay any price for peace with India and certainly not without resolving the Kashmir issue in a just manner. He reiterated Pakistan’s demand that US President Donald Trump should mediate to resolve the contentious Kashmir issue.