Latest from Khan: Easier to negotiate peace with Modi

Khan believes a BJP in the opposition would turn belligerent, making it difficult for a Congress government to strike a deal with Pakistan

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Imran Khan PM

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said if Modi retains power, there is hope for peace negotiations with the new Indian government although the condition of Muslims under the BJP government has been miserable in the past five years.

Khan’s argument is that the BJP in the opposition would turn belligerent, making it difficult for, say, a Congress-led government to strike a deal with the Pakistani counterpart.

Khan said that if the next government in India is led by the Congress, it cannot resolve the Kashmir issue either.

During an interview with a group of foreign journalists, Khan said that the BJP was a right-wing party that could reach a solution to the Kashmir issue on its return to power. However, he added, not only in Kashmir but Muslims are feeling alienated in entire India. “Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party – wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” Khan said.

“Kashmir is a political struggle and there is no military solution,” Khan asserted.

Khan, who has been in power in Pakistan since August last year, said he could not imagine what was happening in India. Muslims are being attacked. He said that Prime Minister Modi was trying to win the election by creating an atmosphere of fear and nationalism like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Cricketer-turned-politician Khan said that this week BJP proposed to change the special law that has been in vogue for several decades in Jammu and Kashmir, Article 35A, under which there is a ban on the sale of immobile properties located in the State to outsiders. “This is worrisome,” he said.

Khan said that Islamabad was engaged in efforts to eliminate all terrorist organisations in the country and that his government was getting complete support of the Pakistan Army for this. Action will also be taken against terrorist organizations operating in Kashmir, he assured.

The India-Pakistan relations worsened when 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu, on 14 February. Although Pakistan has been denying its role in this atrocity, Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed took responsibility for the attack. Later, in response to the terrorist attack, India destroyed terrorist training camps in Balakot with airstrikes.

Thereafter, Pakistan made an unsuccessful attempt to retaliate by targeting India’s military installation, which was thwarted by the IAF, an exercise in which an Indian pilot fell with the wreckage of his MiG-21 Bison on the Pakistani side and was captured. Pakistan returned pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in two days.