Imran Khan: My efforts to negotiate were spurned
The Pakistani PM said tensions over Kashmir had increased the threat of war, and said that anything can happen when two nuclear powers come face to face.
The Modi government's scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir has raised regional tensions with Pakistan which has been angered by the move. Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, says that he does not want to continue the dialogue with India anymore. He also said that the risk of military conflict between the two countries was growing.
In an interview to U.S. newspaper 'The New York Times' (NYT), Pakistani PM Imran Khan said that he repeatedly tried to negotiate with India but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignored him.
This is the first time after the abolition of Section 370 from Kashmir that Imran Khan has given an interview to the foreign media.
In an interview to NYT, Imran Khan said, "There is no point talking to them (India). I mean I have done everything. Unfortunately now when I look back, what I was doing for peace and conversation, he took all my efforts as appeasement."
Imran Khan said that there is no point in talking now to India and the efforts made so far have proved to be useless. "We cannot do anything more than this."
Imran Khan's anger on Kashmir is clearly visible. He has called PM Modi a fascist and Hindu communalist, and said that he wanted to wipe out the Muslim-majority population of Kashmir and convert it into a Hindu-majority area.
Imran said that India could even run a fake operation in Kashmir to justify action against Pakistan. But if it launches military action against Pakistan, then Pakistan will be forced to respond, he warned.
Imran said there was a looming threat of war and said that anything can happen when two nuclear-armed powers come face to face. "My worry is that the situation in Kashmir can increase the tension. Both countries have nuclear weapons, so the world should pay attention to the situation we are facing."
This criticism of Imran Khan has been rejected by Indian Ambassador to the US Harshvardhan Shringla. He told The New York Times, "Our experience has been that every time we took a step towards peace it did not prove to be good for us. We first expect Pakistan to take strong action against terrorism."
India's ambassador to the U.S. has dismissed the allegations of Imran Khan and said that the situation in Kashmir is returning to normal. Restrictions are being relaxed. Schools, banks and hospitals have opened. There is enough stocks of food and drink. In view of the safety of the people of the valley, some restrictions on communication are still continuing.
He said that India has been insisting for a long time that unless Pakistan takes strong action against terrorism, the talks would not make any progress.
[Autotranslated from Hindi]