No Military Solution to Kashmir: Imran Khan

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SRINAGAR: Terming Kashmir ‘dispute’ as the biggest hurdle in normalization of relations between India and Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Insaf party chief Imran Khan today said solving the dispute will be the top priority of his party if it came to power after the upcoming general elections in the country. He however ruled out military solution to the long pending problem between the sub-continental powers.

Cricketer turned politician who is expecting a big win in the 2014 elections in the country said that Kashmir was the ‘bone of contention’ between the two neighboring countries and must be resolved for peace to prevail in the sub continent. “I have three former foreign ministers in my party and they have acquainted me about the Kashmir issue, so I don’t think I will have any problem to sort it out once I come to power”, said Imran in an interview.

Khan said that he had sought suggestions from the Hurriyat Conference delegation that recently visited Pakistan, and would incorporate their suggestions in his policy planning. “We have to see how we can settle the issue through negotiations with India and I am of the opinion that Kashmiri leadership should also be taken into confidence”, said Imran, adding that the Kashmiri leadership should be involved in the dialogue process.

Ruling out solution to the issue through military or armed means, Khan said Pakistan is itself struggling with militancy and he does not believe in supporting such means. He said that the time has come when Pakistan should tell India categorically that it does not support militancy and put pressure on the country to demilitarize the region.

The cricketer turned politician said that all the stake holders to the dispute will have to sacrifice one thing or the other to reach a consensus on solution to the issue. He added if he came to power in the next elections, his first priority in the foreign affairs would be to convince India for demilitarization.

Imran said that there was no confusion that after the war of terror, the world approach has changed but insisted that Kashmir was not a territorial problem but a ‘rights’ issue. (KNS)

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