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‘Not a very good time’: Imran Khan talks about improving ties with India, then rubs in T20 victory

Imran Khan said that India would gain access to Central Asia through Pakistan and in turn, New Delhi would gain access to two huge markets.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was addressing the Pakistan-Saudi Investment Forum in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. (AP File Photo)
Updated on Oct 26, 2021 08:17 AM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the need for improving the relationship with India but said that after his country’s victory in the T20 World Cup it was "not a good time" for such a conversation, according to a report. According to the Dawn newspaper, Khan said that India and Pakistan had only one issue--the Kashmir issue--and urged for resolving it like "civilised neighbours”.

"We have excellent relations with China, but if somehow we improve our relationship with India - I know after last night's thrashing by the Pakistan team in the cricket match, it's not a very good time to talk about improving relations with India," he said while addressing the Pakistan-Saudi Investment Forum in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Imran Khan’s comments came a day after Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Also read | Will rather talk to people of Kashmir than Pakistan: Amit Shah

"It's all about human rights and the rights of the people of Kashmir for self-determination as guaranteed by the United Nations Security Council 72 years ago. If that right is given to them, we have no other problems. The two countries can live as civilised neighbours [...] just imagine the potential," he told Saudi businessmen.

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He said that India would gain access to Central Asia through Pakistan and in turn, New Delhi would gain access to two huge markets. "This is what I want to impress upon the Saudi business community, that circumstances never remain the same. They always change," Khan, who is in Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, said.

Also read | ‘Before coming, we had a meeting with PM Imran Khan’: Babar ahead of India match

He said that the most successful business people are those who look ahead and take risks. "The ones who go on the trodden path never really become outstanding in any field, let alone business."

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after the attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further hit the ties between India and Pakistan.

Also read | Pakistan claim about blocking submarine questioned by India

After India pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019, in response to the Pulwama terror attack, the relationship between the two countries was affected again. As many as 40 troops of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in the Pulwama terror attack.

India has told Pakistan that it wants normal relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, when recently asked about the possibility of an improvement in ties with Pakistan, said unless the basic core issue of terrorism emanating from the neighbouring country is dealt with, "I think we will not see much forward movement in the relationship."

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