SRINAGAR/ISLAMABAD Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday asked India to ponder why Kashmiri youth have reached a stage where they dont fear death anymore even as he underlined that Kashmir Issue like Afghanistan would be resolved through talks and not militarily.
In a video message to the nation, five days after the Pulwama attack in which 49 paramilitary CRPF men were killed, Khan assured India that he would act against the perpetrators of the deadly attack if it shares “actionable intelligence” with Islamabad, but warned New Delhi against launching any “revenge” retaliatory action.
Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, said that he understood it was India’s election year and the narrative of blaming Pakistan would make it easier to get votes from the masses.
He hoped that better sense will prevail and that India would be open to dialogue with Pakistan.
Dismissing Islamabad’s involvement in the Pulwama attack, Khan said that Delhi holds Pakistan responsible each time an incident happens in Kashmir and makes Pakistan its “whipping boy” again and again.
Pakistan wants “stability in the region” and the Kashmir issue like the Afghan issue will be resolved through talks, he said.
“If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved. Give it to us. I guarantee you we will take action – not because we are under pressure, but because they are acting as enemies of Pakistan,” he said.
We are listening through Indian media where politicians are shouting that Pakistan should be taught a lesson, revenge should be taken and the attack should be avenged- Which law in the world gives power to an individual or a nation and permit them to become a judge, a jury and executioner? What justice system is this? It is your election year and we understand that during elections you will get a boost to teach Pakistan a lesson. If you think, you would launch any attack on Pakistan and we would not think of retaliating, Pakistan will retaliate.
He added: “Starting a war is in our hands, it is easy. But ending a war, that is not in our hands and no one knows what will happen.
“Its not in our interests that somebody from here goes out to do terrorism, nor that somebody comes here and does terrorism,” the Pakistani prime minister said.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Monday said the Pulwama militant attack has shown that time for talks is over.
Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan was ready for talks with India on the issue of terrorism.
“I say it clearly this is a Naya (new) Pakistan and a new mindset,” he said.
“India talks about including terrorism in dialogue with Pakistan. Terrorism is a big issue facing this region and we want to eliminate it,” Khan said.
“If someone is using Pakistan’s soil [to carry out terror attacks elsewhere], it is enmity with us. It is against our interests,” Khan said while talking about ‘non-state actors’.
He said he did not immediately respond to India’s allegations as he was busy with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan.
“India accused Pakistan without any evidence and without thinking how this [attack] would benefit us,” he added. “Would even a fool try to sabotage such an important visit as that of the Saudi crown prince?” the prime minister asked.
“We have been fighting against terrorism for the past 15 years. How will Pakistan benefit from such incidents?”
On the Kashmir issue, Khan said “Kashmiris are not afraid of death anymore. There must be a reason for that.”
Should there not be a discussion in India on this?” he asked and went on to say, “which law in the world allows everyone to become a judge and jury?”
Questioning whether India “wants to resolve the issue through military”, Khan said, “This has never been a successful measure.”
Lastly I will say two things There should be a new thought process in India. India should introspect, why the Kashmiri youth have reached a stage where they dont fear death anymore. There must be some reason. Do you think one-dimensional oppression, torture and resolving issues through military is the solution? Do you think if it hasnt worked till now, would it work in the future? he said, adding, If after 17 years the world has realised that military is not the solution in Afghanistan and only dialogue would resolve issues, should India also not discuss this?
Be Part of Quality Journalism