ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan said Pakistan’s decision to launch work on the Kartarpur corridor reflects the future plans of his government.
“We want to improve relations with all our neighbours,” he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan is looking at two or three different options to resolve the Kashmir issue, which, he added, can be settled only through dialogue in a phased manner.
Khan made the remarks during an interaction with a group of Pakistani TV anchors on Monday. However, he declined to go into specifics of the options being considered by Islamabad.
Pakistan is looking at “two or three solutions” to the Kashmir issue that can be implemented in a “gradual way or in phases, but I can’t speak about them in public till the dialogue [with India] starts”, Khan said.
“There are two ways for India and Pakistan to settle their issues – either dialogue or war. It is unimaginable for two nuclear-armed countries to go to war because it will have unintended consequences,” Khan said.
“Once it begins, war doesn’t remain in your control. Neither they nor us can win a proxy war,” he added.
Khan recalled that he met former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former foreign minister Natwar Singh during a visit to New Delhi after the Bharatiya Janata Party lost in the 2004 general elections and they had told him that the two countries had come “very close to a settlement on Kashmir” during Pervez Musharraf’s regime.
“This means there is a solution. It can’t be discussed openly because there are so many vested interests which will scuttle things,” he said. “Vajpayee told me if the BJP hadn’t lost the election, they would have settled the issue.”
Khan said Pakistan’s decision to launch work on the Kartarpur corridor reflects the future plans of his government. “We want to improve relations with all our neighbours,” he added.
The ground-breaking for the corridor, which will allow Indian pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan without visas, was done by Khan on November 28.
Khan acknowledged that an engagement with India is unlikely at present because the neighbouring country is set to go to elections. But he added, “After Kartarpur, it will be very difficult for India to create hate against Pakistan.”
The premier spoke on a range of matters during the interaction, including the state of Pakistan’s economy, civil-military relations, and governance. Replying to a question on the military’s role in shaping foreign policy, he said, “Advice from the establishment is taken on those issues where the security situation is involved.”
He said the Pakistan Army and his government “are on the same page” and his decisions are backed by the military.