ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan believes that there will be no solution of Kashmir problem during the present government in India as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-led Narendra Modi regime is bent upon ethnic cleansing of Muslims by following the ideology of Nazis and Hitler.
“I do not see much hope with this [Indian] government but do see in future that a strong Indian leadership will also want this problem [Kashmir issue] to be resolved,” the prime minister said in an interview to Belgium-based TV network VRT, which was also televised by state-run PTV on Friday.
The prime minister said Kashmiris were promised right of self-determination by India’s leader Jawahar Lal Nehru during the independence movement but India was not giving them this right because it knew if that was given, they [Kashmiris] would opt for Pakistan as it (held Kashmir) was a Muslim-majority region.
“I feel that if there will be a strong and clear headed leadership in India this problem would be solved. Every problem has a solution,” he added.
He said the problem in India right now was that [Indian government] has an extremist ideology of RSS, inspired by the Nazis in 30s. “[One of the] the founding fathers of the RSS [Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi], which is now ruling India, is inspired by Hitler...the racist Arian philosophy of Hitler. That is why they have put 80 million Kashmiris, who are Muslims, in an open prison,” Mr Khan said.
Talking about peace in Afghanistan, the prime minister expressed his optimism about peace and stability in Afghanistan through a possible agreement between the United States and the Taliban, saying for the first time things were moving in the right direction. “It is for the first time things moving in the right direction, the Americans wanting peace and dialogue with Taliban and the Taliban are now sitting with the Americans. The next phase would be ceasefire and then possibly an agreement and in the next phase Taliban will sit with Afghan government,” he hoped.
Imran Khan said since his government came to power, he had left no stone unturned to ensure that peace was restored in Afghanistan. “But it is not going to be so easy because there had been 19 years of conflict there,” he said, adding that Pakistan was hosting 2.7 million Afghan refugees of whom over 100,000 were living in refugee camps.
Responding to a question about the fight against terrorism, PM Khan said over 70,000 Pakistanis had lost their lives during 10 to 12 years and the credit went to security forces, particularly intelligence agencies, for controlling the insurgency. “I am very happy to say that my first year as prime minister, 2019, was the safest year in Pakistan since 9/11,” he added.
Talking about economic situation of the country, he said, 2019 was a very difficult year for Pakistan but now his government had brought the current account deficit down by 75 per cent in one year which was a tough task. “I expect this year 2020 where Pakistanis economy will show signs of recovery,” he added.
About tourism, he said the government had opened up the country and now people from 70 countries could get Pakistani visa at the airport. “We have opened up all our areas and now with 2019 being the safest year, our tourism doubled in one year,” he added.
He said Pakistan had the most unique tourist sites in the world because of its diversity. “Pakistan has undiscovered hospitality and with peace and security in the country, we expect the level of tourism in Pakistan will grow up,” he hoped.
Replying to a question on climate change, the PM said his government had set targets of 10 billion tree plantation in Pakistan, which would improve environment and forest cover and bring back wild life. He, however, pointed out that Pakistan was also likely to be affected by climate change more than other countries because the country depended on rivers and 80pc of water in its rivers came from glaciers. “Because of global warming, these glaciers are melting fast and that is a big worry for us,” he added.
The prime minister also highlighted his government’s achievements and targets, especially the efforts to extricate poor and marginalised classes in the country from poverty.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020