No Talks with India until Situation in Kashmir Changes, Imran Khan Tells US Senators
Khan said he was the biggest supporter of Pakistan-India talks; however, it is impossible until the situation is changed for the better in Kashmir.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York. (PTI)
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told a visiting US Congressional delegation on Monday that talks with India were out of question in view of the situation in Kashmir after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.
Khan said there would be no talks with India during a meeting with US senators Chris Van Hollen and Maggi Hassan, who met to share their observations with the prime minister about their visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Sunday, Geo News reported.
Khan said he was the biggest supporter of Pakistan-India talks; however, it is impossible until the situation is changed for the better in Kashmir. But India has pointed out to Pakistan that as long as it supports cross-border terrorism, New Delhi will not resume talks with Islamabad.
Khan also thanked the US senators for cooperation on the issue of Kashmir. Hollen is part of a group of US senators who have expressed concern over the human rights situation in Kashmir, the report said.
In his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly last month, Khan raised the Kashmir issue and demanded that India must lift the "inhuman curfew" in Kashmir and release all "political prisoners".
Khan devoted half of his address to the Kashmir issue, warning that if there's face-off between two nuclear-armed neighbours, the consequences would be far beyond their borders.
India has been maintaining that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and there is no scope for third-party mediation.
Ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after New Delhi's decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5. Pakistan reacted angrily to the move and expelled the Indian envoy. Since then, Pakistan has been trying to rally international support against India on the issue.
US Congress members Tahir Javed and US charge d affairs Paul Jones were also a part of the delegation that met Khan, the report said.
The US delegation also met Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Bajwa at the General Headquarters, said a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military's media wing.
The Afghan reconciliation process, as well as issues of mutual interest and overall regional security were discussed with the visiting dignitaries.
Bajwa appreciated Washington's understanding and support on resolving the Kashmir issue, as well as, Pakistan's efforts in Afghanistan, The Express Tribune reported.
Both the sides stressed upon importance of strong bilateral relationship between the US and Pakistan in and beyond security cooperation, the report said.
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