SRINAGAR: Two days ahead of the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 14 Jammu and Kashmir politicians, Pakistani Prime minister Imran Khan has sought US intervention to settle the Kashmir issue with India.
“The US has a big responsibility, the most powerful nation in the world – almost 1.4 billion people living in the subcontinent, we are held hostage [by] one dispute in Kashmir,” Khan was quoted by Hindustan Times saying in an interview with the news programme Axios on HBO.
The newspaper said Khan hasn’t spoken to Joe Biden since his takeover but would raise the issue if there was a meeting between the two leaders. Khan has raised Kashmir twice with former USD president Donald Trump. “If the Americans have the resolve and the will, [the Kashmir issue] can be sorted out,” Khan was quoted saying by The Indian Express.
Khan told the interviewer that nuclear arms are just a deterrent and he personally hates it.
“We have border skirmishes but we’ve never faced war. The moment there is a settlement on Kashmir, the two neighbours would live as civilised people. We will not need to have nuclear deterrents,” he has said, insisting, “We’ve had three wars against India and ever since we’ve had [a] nuclear deterrent, we have had no war between the two countries.” Asked why Pakistan is the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world, Khan tried to avoid a direct response and finally admitted: “Any country which has a neighbour seven times the size as Pakistan has, would be worried.”
“There was no immediate response from Indian officials to Khan’s remarks,” Hindustan Times reported. “In the past, India has ruled out intervention or mediation on the Kashmir issue by any third party. In response to recent statements from Islamabad opposing any possible changes in Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi has maintained that the region is an integral part of India and such moves amounted to interference in the country’s internal matters.”