Talks with BJP-led India not possible, says PM Imran

Published December 10, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the inaugural plenary of the  ‘Islamabad Conclave-2021’ on Thursday. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the inaugural plenary of the ‘Islamabad Conclave-2021’ on Thursday. — PID

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that Kashmir dispute could only be resolved through dialogue, but meaningful engagement with the current government in India was not possible because of its religious nationalism.

Speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad’s (ISSI) ‘Islamabad Conclave-2021’, PM Khan recalled that South Asia had been held back by political differences and conflicts and listed the Kashmir dispute as the “biggest problem” holding the region back.

He said progress in relations between Pakistan and India had been halted because his government had to deal with RSS’s extremist ideology currently dominating Delhi. “Meaningful negotiations with India are impossible as long as the government there is inspired by this ideology,” he said, hoping that one day India could have a rational government with which resolution of disputes could be sought through logical and sane discussions.

The prime minister expected that once the two arch rivals resolved the core dispute of Kashmir they could then go ahead to jointly fight emerging threats like climate change. He regretted that all of his government’s peace overtures to India had so far been seen in Delhi as its sign of weakness.

Fears US-China confrontation moving ‘towards new Cold War’

PM Khan said he firmly believed that those seeking to resolve disputes through war were mistaken. “They are either unaware of history or they are too proud of their weapons,” he said, adding that they certainly had no consideration for humanity. This, he warned, led to grave miscalculations.

He underscored the need for resolving disputes till the last moment through dialogue.

The prime minister also touched upon the aggravating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the growing US-China rivalry. He feared that the US-China confrontation was moving “towards a new Cold War” and foresaw formation of blocs. “Pakistan should try its best to stop the formation of these blocs because we should not become a part of any bloc,” he maintained.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also highlighted this concern in his remarks. “There is accelerated competition between major powers, and a drift towards confrontation. This can lead to new rivalries and push the world again into ‘bloc’ politics. A new Cold War seems to be taking shape,” he observed.

He said Pakistan’s primary interest was in seeking a peaceful and stable international order that takes everyone on board. “Pakistan will remain committed to peaceful coexistence, cooperative multilateralism and consensus-driven outcomes,” he added.

ISSI Director General Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, in his introductory remarks, outlined the objectives of ‘Islamabad Conclave’, especially saying it is for narrative building, global engagement and bridging gaps.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

23 May, 2022

Defection rulings

By setting aside the existing law to prescribe their own solutions, the institutions haven't really solved the crisis at hand.
23 May, 2022

Spirit of the law

WOMEN’S right to inheritance is often galling for their male relatives in our patriarchal society. However, with...
23 May, 2022

Blaming others

BLAMING the nebulous ‘foreign hand’ for creating trouble within our borders is an age-old method used by the...
Updated 22 May, 2022

Back in the game?

WITH the new government struggling to make crucial decisions independently, Pakistan’s ‘parallel governance...
22 May, 2022

Currency concerns

IN the midst of the power struggle in the country, the rupee slid past 200 to a dollar in the interbank market last...
Updated 22 May, 2022

Shireen Mazari’s arrest

Abuse of power can never be condoned, regardless of who it targets or from where it emanates.