(MENAFN – Kashmir Observer) Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan | Reuters dossier
Islamabad: Departing from Pakistan’s declared policy on Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that Islamabad would let the people of Kashmir decide whether they wish to join Pakistan or become an independent state.
India has asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is and will forever be an integral part of India.
Addressing a campaign rally in the Tarar Khal region of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir (PcK) ahead of the July 25 elections, Khan also rejected claims by an opposition leader that his government was working on a plan aiming to make Kashmir a province of Pakistan.
The response came after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz, addressing a campaign rally in PcK on July 18, said a decision had been made to change the status of Kashmir and make it a province.
I don’t know where all this talk (about the province) is coming from, Khan said, while dismissing such an idea.
Instead, the prime minister said that a day would come when the Kashmiris would be allowed to decide their future in accordance with UN resolutions and expressed confidence that the people of Kashmir would decide on that day to join the Pakistan.
He added that following the UN-mandated referendum, his government will hold another referendum to give the people of Kashmir the choice to either live with Pakistan or become an independent state.
In accordance with Pakistan’s declared policy on Kashmir, the issue is expected to be resolved in accordance with the UN resolution through a referendum allowing Kashmiris to choose Pakistan or India.
Prime Minister Khan has stepped away from politics by talking about the third option. There is no third option of independence in the UN resolution.
India has previously made it clear that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. New Delhi also told Islamabad that issues related to Jammu and Kashmir are its internal affair and the country is able to resolve its own issues.
Friday was the last day of campaigning for the PcK elections on July 25.
Responding to allegations of rigging the PML-N elections, Khan wondered how his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could rig the upcoming polls while the PML-N was still in power in the PcK and even the officials of the electoral commission the government of the PML-N.
Khan said his party has been asking the opposition for a year to discuss electronic voting machines.
This technology helps you get the poll results in no time and there will be no need to manually count the votes and move the voting bags from one place to another which is a tiring exercise. did he declare.
But the opposition is not prepared to listen to us, he laments.
US calls on India, Pak to fix issues
Meanwhile, the United States urged India and Pakistan to work together to resolve bilateral issues, observing that they have always encouraged the two neighbors to establish a more stable relationship in the future.
“Regarding India and Pakistan, I would just like to note that we strongly believe that the problems of India and Pakistan must be settled between them,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State told reporters. with South and Central Asian Affairs, Dean Thompson. call here Friday.
“We are happy to see that the ceasefire that was put in place earlier this year has – has remained intact, and we certainly still encourage them to continue their efforts to find ways to build a more stable relationship in the future, ”Thompson said in response to a question.
India-Pakistan relations collapsed after New Delhi abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 on August 5, 2019 and divided it into two Union Territories . The two neighbors signed a ceasefire agreement earlier this year.
On a question on Afghanistan, the Acting Assistant Secretary said that the United States expects all countries in the region to share a common interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan in the future.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken is expected to visit India next week where Afghanistan is said to be a major talking point.
We will certainly seek to discuss with our Indian partners how we can work together to achieve this goal, find ways to bring the parties together and continue to seek a negotiated settlement to end the longstanding war, ”said Thompson. .
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