Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that he will resume efforts to improve relations with India after the 2019 General Elections. Elections to the Lok Sabha are due in April-May 2019.
“What we need is stability, and stability means peace with all neighbours,” he said at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Dawn reported. “Our problems right now are with Afghanistan and India. When I won the elections and came to power, the first thing I tried to do was extend a hand of peace to India, but I am afraid we got no response from India. In fact, we got rebuffed.”
“Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India,” he added.
In September, New Delhi cancelled a proposed meeting in New York between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, after three policemen, who were abducted by suspected militants from their homes in Batagund and Kapren villages of Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday night, were found dead.
In response to the meeting’s cancellation, Khan had said: “All my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”
On Monday, Khan labelled the deaths of civilians in Kashmir as a “new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris by Indian security forces”, and added: “It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
India’s Ministry of External Affairs condemned the Pakistan prime minister’s comments, saying that the country’s leadership should “look inwards and address its own issues”.