‘Pak can’t conquer Kashmir through war’

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Pakistan’s former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said that Pakistan could not “conquer Kashmir through war” and the only way out was dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi.

Khar, in an interview with Geo News, said that the contentious Kashmir issue could only be discussed in an environment of mutual trust.

“I believe that Pakistan cannot conquer Kashmir through war and if we cannot do that, the option we are left with is dialogue, and dialogue can only proceed with a partner with which we have normal relations and a certain level of mutual trust,” she said. Khar, who was Pakistan’s foreign minister from 2011 to 2013, opined that if there was continuous talks on Kashmir between India and Pakistan, it was likely that the arch-rivals would reach somewhere at some point.

Khar also said that some people believed that the Kashmir issue could only be resolved “if there was a BJP government in India and a military government in Pakistan”.

Responding to a question on the military’s influence on the country’s Pakistan foreign policy, she said that it was a diplomat’s job to carry forward the military’s perspective on issues where the military was a relevant stake holder.

Khar claimed that despite being in a coalition government, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had tried its best to normalise ties with India.

She said visa rules were relaxed and trade ties were normalised for the purpose.

Khar further said that because Pakistan Muslim League enjoyed majority, the Prime Minister could do much more when it came to relations with neighbouring countries, particularly India.

“The issues between the two countries cannot be resolved in a hostile environment,” she added.

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