Today's Paper

Kashmir the single issue, says Imran

Plea for peace:Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speakingat the event in Kartarpur on Wednesday.AFPAFP

Plea for peace:Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speakingat the event in Kartarpur on Wednesday.AFPAFP  

Army and the political leadership are on one page to take dialogue with India forward, says Pak. PM

Pakistan’s Army and political leadership are on “one page” to take dialogue with India forward, said Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor, where Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa was also present.

The four-kilometre corridor from the border with India will allow pilgrims easy access when completed, and will be ready in time for Sikh founder Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary on November 23, 2019.

Speaking to an audience that included Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri who travelled to Pakistan as envoys of the Indian government, Mr. Khan thanked them and Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Sidhu in particular for his role in taking forward the Pakistani proposal for the corridor with New Delhi.

“I want to say that today I as the Prime Minister [of Pakistan], my party, all our political parties, and our army are on one page. We want to move forward,” PM Khan told a large gathering of Sikhs from Pakistan and Sikh pilgrims from India.

In a speech largely reaching out to the Indian government to “break the shackles of the past” and restart engagement, Mr. Khan also struck a discordant note on Kashmir, referring to the dispute as the “single issue” between India and Pakistan. India has maintained that terrorism sponsored by Pakistan is holding back the dialogue process. Asked about the reference, Ms. Badal told The Hindu that the PM’s remark didn’t change the Indian stand.

“Kashmir is a part of India and that remains our position,” Ms. Badal said after the ceremony. “[PM Khan] has said he wants peace with India and I am sure we can work something out. Today is an auspicious start for that peace process, and I am sure that with the grace of Baba Nanak we can sort out things.”

Recommended for you