Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again called upon US President Donald Trump and the United Nations to intervene for resolution of outstanding Kashmir dispute.
In an interview with CNBC, he said that Kashmir is a far more serious problem than the people and the world realise.
Khan said that India has been taken over by an “extremist” ideology which is called Hindutva or the RSS.
He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a life member of this outfit.
Referring to the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, the prime minister said 8mn people have been put under siege there since August 5 last year.
The Indian forces have picked up thousands of Kashmiri teenagers and arrested their political leaders.
Khan said it is a serious situation and reiterated his warning that this could potentially spill over into a conflict between the two nuclear armed countries.
When asked about the US-Iran tension, the prime minister stressed that war is not a solution to any problem.
He warned that a conflict with Iran will be disastrous for the developing countries as it will cause oil prices to shoot up.
Khan said that the sensible way forward is dialogue.
The prime minister also made it clear that Pakistan will only be partner in peace.
He reminded the audience that Pakistan suffered heavily, both in terms of human and material losses, in the war on terrorism.
Khan said that Pakistan is now a safe country and ready for business.
Hailing the sacrifices rendered by members of the security forces in the war on terrorism, he said Pakistan has disarmed the militias and rehabilitated them.
Responding to a question, the prime minister rejected the impression that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has made Pakistan indebted to China.
He pointed out that the Chinese loans only account for 5-6% of Pakistan’s total loan portfolio.
Khan said that China helped Pakistan in the most difficult times by making investments, and that Pakistan is grateful to China.
He said that the CPEC also envisages co-operation in different sectors, including technology transfer in the agriculture sector.
About Pakistan’s economy, the prime minister said the country is now on the right track and our focus is on export led growth by promoting industrialisation.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has warned that deterioration of the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir or a conflict in South Asia will leave negative impact on the regional economy.
In a statement yesterday, he said that Prime Minister Khan has effectively and forcefully presented its stance on important matters.
He also said that US President Trump has expressed willingness to visit Pakistan.
He said the US president considers Pakistan an important country and that he wants to promote bilateral relations between the two countries.
Qureshi also spoke on the CPEC.
He said that when it comes to the CPEC, Pakistan has to look out for what is in the country’s best interests.
“We will continue to do what is beneficial to us,” the foreign minister said in a statement.
Qureshi’s remarks come a day after China issued a strongly-worded statement in response to allegations levelled by US ambassador Alice Wells, who said there was no transparency in CPEC projects.
Claiming that Pakistan’s debt burden was growing due to the Chinese financing, Wells alleged that companies blacklisted by the World Bank had got contracts in the CPEC.
Speaking at an event in Islamabad on Tuesday, Wells insisted that Chinese money was not assistance.
She contended that by getting Chinese financing for the projects, Pakistan was buying expensive loans and as a buyer it needed to be aware of what it was doing as this would take a heavy toll on its already struggling economy.
A day later, taking strong exception to the senior US diplomat’s remarks, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan emphatically warned the United States against meddling in Pak-China ties and the CPEC.
“We would be more than glad to see the US develop its relationship with Pakistan, but we strongly oppose the US interference in China-Pakistan relations and the CPEC … we have to make our position clear and reject the negative propaganda by the US.
“We must not let the truth be distorted and the lies run wild,” the embassy said in a statement.
“The comments hold nothing new,” the embassy said and reminded that both China and Pakistan have repeatedly rejected similar insinuations in the past.
“However, the US side still ignores the facts and is obsessed with the story it made for the CPEC,” it added.
Noting that China “puts the Pakistani people’s interests first” in CPEC projects, the embassy underscored that China and Pakistan staunchly adhere to “principles of mutual consultation and cooperation” for shared benefits.
The embassy asked the US to let the people of Pakistan decide whether or not the CPEC suited them.
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