PM Modi restoring Kashmir’s special status only way forward in India-Pakistan relations: Imran Khan

“India has progressed because of rule of law”, the ousted Prime Minister said while noting that Pakistan will have no future without adherance to laws

February 08, 2023 08:57 am | Updated 01:13 pm IST - Lahore

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan | Photo Credit: Reuters

Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the only way forward in relations with India is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi restores the special status of Kashmir.

In 2019, Indian Parliament revoked Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

"India had revoked the special status for Kashmir. Now the only way forward in holding talks with India is first the Modi administration restores it," Khan told PTI on February 7 evening while interacting with foreign media at his Lahore's Zaman Park residence.

To another question about rule of law, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader said, "There will be no future for Pakistan if there is no rule of law. Take India for example. It progressed because of rule of law."

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Imran Khan also claimed that the PML(N) and its allies have also planned to target his party's leaders and rig the elections.

Mr. Khan is looking up to the judiciary to "protect the Constitution" and "foil" the ruling PML(N)-led coalition's design to delay elections in Pakistan's Punjab and Kyber Pakhtaunkhawa provinces where polls are due in 90 days following the dissolution of assemblies last month.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader, who was ousted as Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence by PMLN and its allies in April last year, alleged that the ruling coalition with the backing of their handlers in the military establishment has planned to oust him from politics.

"They have made a plan to disqualify me. All efforts are being made at all powerful quarters in the country to keep me out of politics," he claimed.

Asked if Army Chief Gen Syed Asim Munir was also behind such efforts, Mr. Khan said, "He has been in office for two months and I give him a benefit of doubt."

Mr. Khan also alleged that his political rival and three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, wants him disqualified. "Nawaz has set a condition (to the establishment) for his return from the United Kingdom and that is my disqualification," he claimed.

The PML(N) recently declared that its supreme leader Nawaz Sharif will return ahead of the general elections.

Mr. Khan also accused Nawaz Sharif of striking a deal with former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his extension vote in the parliament.

"Giving an extension to Gen Bajwa was my biggest mistake. It was a huge blunder. After a deal with Nawaz, Bajwa ensured that Nawaz, his family members and partymen get relief in multi-billion corruption cases," he alleged.

Imran Khan said he fails to understand how the military establishment can “side with the corrupt criminals like Sharifs and Zardaris”.

"There is a visible gulf between the Pakistan Army and the people. They are angry over the Army's support to those who looted this country. And let me tell you this is very dangerous for the country," Mr. Khan said.

Imran Khan said that he will be the first to court arrest during the Jail Bharo protest to press for the demand of holding the polls in Punjab and Kyber Pakhtaunkhawa provinces in 90 days.

"I will lead the Jail Bharo Tehreek which is a non-violent movement," Mr. Khan declared.

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