Srinagar: Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, who is likely to be the next prime minister of Pakistan, Thursday said that his government would go a step ahead to engage with India on Kashmir issue which he said was the biggest contention between the two countries.
“Pakistan is ready to talk with India on Kashmir issue,” Khan said while criticising the Indian media for portraying him as a “villain in a Bollywood film” in the run-up to the general elections in Pakistan.
The cricketer-turned politician’s party emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly.
Khan’s press briefing was broadcast live on his official Facebook page and Twitter handle.
“Kashmir remains our biggest contention. The human rights violations that have taken place over 30 years is massive and the people of Kashmir have suffered massively. The leadership of Pakistan and India now need to come to the table to resolve the issue. We should not indulge in blame-game,” said Khan, while making references to India’s alleged interference in Balochistan.
“If the Indian leadership takes one step towards Pakistan, we are ready to take two steps towards India. Right now it is one sided where India is constantly just blaming us. We must resolve the main issue (Kashmir) with dialogue.”
In the run-up to the election, in India, Khan was projected as a Pakistani leader with strong anti-India sentiments with some TV channels dubbing him as the “axis of anti-India” sentiment in Pakistan. His party’s good performance was often projected as bad news for both Pakistan and India, especially because of the cricketer-turned politician’s alleged proximity to the military.
Reacting to the negative coverage, Imran said, “In the last few days, Indian media portrayed me as some villain in a Bollywood film. I want to tell you, I am one Pakistani who has the largest number of acquaintances in India largely due to my career as a cricketer.”
During the press briefing, Khan also rued the chequered history between the neighbouring countries and said that India and Pakistan should work towards improving their trade relations in order to improve their ties and to improve the economy of the sub-continent. “The more the volume of trade between the two countries, the better will be the relations,” he said.