“Use of Pak territory for terror not in our interest”
Imran Khan says no military solution for Kashmir; ready for talks with PM Modi
Islamabad, Nov 29: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said he was ready to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi while conceding that it was not in the interest of his country to allow terror activities from its territory.
Khan’s remarks came a day after India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj categorically ruled out possibility of holding talks with Pakistan unless it stops “cross-border terror activities”.
“It is not in our interest to allow use of Pakistan’s territory for terror outside,” Khan, who is celebrating 100 days of his government Thursday, said during an interaction with a group of Indian journalists here.
Khan said that people in Pakistan want peace with India and he will be happy to meet Modi and talk to him on any issue.
“I am ready for talks on any issue. There can’t be a military solution for Kashmir,” he said, adding “nothing is impossible” when asked whether it is possible to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“The mindset of people here has changed,” Khan said, a day after he laid the foundation-stone for the Kartarpur corridor that will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur.
Pakistan is projecting the corridor as a goodwill gesture.
“The India I know – majority must be appreciating it,” Khan told the Indian journalists who had arrived in Pakistan to cover the groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor.
He, however, said the gesture for peace cannot be one-sided.
“We are willing to wait for (general) elections to get over in India for a gesture from New Delhi,” Khan said, referring to the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for next year.
…promises to take up case of Indian prisoner
Islamabad, Nov 29: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday assured that he will look into the case of a 33-year-old Indian prisoner, who has been languishing in a Pakistani jail after being arrested for illegally entering the country from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.
Mumbai resident Hamid Nehal Ansari was arrested in Pakistan in 2012. He is currently lodged in the Peshawar Central Prison after being sentenced by a military court to three years’ imprisonment for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card.
“I do not know about it…We will do our best,” Premier Khan told a group of Indian journalists when asked about Ansari.
Pakistani security agencies accused Ansari of using a fake identity card in the name of “Hamza” and alleged that he entered Pakistan through Afghanistan without travel documents.
They charged him for “espionage” and “anti-Pakistan activities”. Ansari denied the charges in his petition to the Peshawar High Court.
Ansari had gone missing after he was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in 2012 and finally in reply to a habeas corpus petition filed by his mother, Fauzia Ansari, the high court was informed that he was in custody of the Pakistan Army and was being tried by a military court.
He was convicted by the military court and jailed. His prison term is about to end, said officials.