Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated that he is prepared to hold talks with neighbouring India only if it lifts its “military siege” on Indian-administered Kashmir and gives its residents the right to self-determination.
Khan made the remarks during a short video address released on Tuesday to coincide with the anniversary of the day Indian security forces entered the part of Kashmir it administers in 1947, two months after both India and Pakistan gained independence from the British.
In his speech, Khan said he would engage in dialogue with India only if it took steps to reverse what Pakistan terms New Delhi’s “occupation” of India’s only Muslim-majority region.
“I am ready [for talks], but for that, you will need to end the military siege that you have imposed on Kashmir, and the second thing is that you will need to give Kashmiris the right to self-determination as per the United Nations’ resolutions,” said Khan.
Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full but administer separate portions of it, divided by a Line of Control, across which a tenuous ceasefire has been in place since 2003.