NEW DELHI : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a special address to the nation, on Monday said that Islamabad’s Kashmir policy was at a “decisive” point as he slammed India for playing what he called “its last card” and vowing to “take next step”.
The comments came as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was meeting US President Donald Trump in Biarritz on the sidelines of the G7 meet to which India was invited as a special guest. Trump who had rattled India with an offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir on Monday said Modi “really feels he has it (situation in Kashmir) under control”.
“I have very good relationship with both the gentlemen (Modi and Khan) and I’m here. I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves,” Trump added. The remarks followed Modi saying: “There are many bilateral issues between India and Pakistan, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally.”
In his speech, Khan said he wanted to let people know the way forward after India scrapped Article 370, which provided for Jammu and Kashmir’s special status earlier this month. “Pakistan’s Kashmir policy is at a decisive point. So I have decided to take the nation into confidence over Kashmir issue,” news reports quoted Khan as saying. “My dear Pakistanis, today I only want to talk on Kashmir; what the issue is, what we have done so far and what is the way forward,” Khan said. He promised to highlight the plight of Kashmiris during his speech at the UN General Assembly session in New York on 27 September.
“We have succeeded in internationalising the issue of Kashmir, we talked to world leaders and embassies. The UN for the first time since 1965, convened a meeting on Kashmir issue. Even international media has picked it up,” Khan said referring to the UN General Security Council meeting on 16 August in which the situation in Kashmir had been discussed at an informal level.
“We tried engaging India to a dialogue several times. But India was also going through the election phase so we waited that to end. Just then Pulwama (suicide attack on 14 February) happened and they instantly pointed fingers towards Pakistan,” said Khan.
Earlier, speaking to students in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khan said that he will fight the case for “freedom of Kashmir” till the very end. He even nominated himself the “ambassador” for the said cause.
“I have nominated myself as the Ambassador of Kashmir, and will fight the case for freedom of Kashmir till the very end,” said Khan.