Pakistan willing to resolve Kashmir issue with India: Imran Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting, Imran Khan, on Thursday laid the roadmap for his country’s development and governance while spelling out his priorities in foreign policy in his maiden speech after the elections in Pakistan.

While the final results are yet to be announced by the Pakistan’s Election Commission, Khan with 120 seats so far is a clear winner sweeping in five constituencies. He won from NA-131 (Lahore), NA-53 (Islamabad), Karachi (NA-243), Mianwali (NA-95) and Bannu (NA-35) seats respectively.

According to The Dawn, citing unofficial results, the PTI is leading at 120 seats, while PML-N (61 seats) and PPP (40 seats) are closing in at the second and third positions respectively.

“If we want to have a poverty free subcontinent then we must have good relations and trade ties. The core issue is Kashmir. We need to resolve this. Blame game should end,” he said.

“Kashmiris have been suffering for long. If India’s leadership is willing then the both of us can solve this issue through dialogue. It will be good for the subcontinent also,” the former cricketer said.

In his first speech after the elections, Khan said he would like to have good relations with India and work to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue. Mentioning Kashmir as the core issue of dispute between the two nations, Khan said that it was time the two countries sat across the table and discussed the issues of concern.

“We should sit across and resolve the issues instead of we blaming India for problems in Balochistan and they blaming us for problems in Kashmir. I can say that if you (India) will take one step forward, we will take two steps forward. The relationship between the two countries has been one-sided so far and Pakistan has been blamed for all sorts of terrorism in the world. We want friendship with India and want to resolve all issues through dialogue,” asserted Khan.

He, however, was critical of the way the Indian media had projected him. “I was saddened by the way Indian media recently projected me. I am one of those Pakistanis that wants good relations with India, if we want to have a poverty free subcontinent then we must have good relations and trade ties,” he said.

While addressing the media, Imran said, “I thank god, after 22 years of struggle, my prayers have been answered. I have got the chance to fulfill my dream and serve the nation.”

“I am a person who arguably knows the most people in India because of my days in cricket. We can resolve the poverty crisis in South East Asia. The biggest problem is Kashmir.”

Hailing the country’s security forces, Imran added that it was due to their hard work that democracy prevailed in Pakistan. “We are witnessing the strengthening of democracy in Pakistan. The election process was completed successfully despite many terror attacks. I thank our security forces,” he said.

Explaining his reason to enter politics, Khan recalled that while growing up in Pakistan, the nation was in great heights and then all of a sudden, corruption and anti-social elements put the country in a precarious position. He expressed hope to implement all the promises made in the PTI manifesto.

Underlining the election as “historic”, Khan dismissed allegations of rigging and said he was open to scrutiny. “We are witnessing the strengthening of democracy in Pakistan. The election process was completed successfully despite many terror attacks. I thank our security forces. Those accusing the elections to be rigged can get it investigated. I am ready for it,” he added.

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