Hope to Improve Ties With India After 2019 Elections: Imran Khan

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is hoping to “resume efforts to improve” ties with India after the general elections in 2019, reported Reuters.

Addressing an investment conference in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, Khan reportedly said:

“One thing Pakistan needs more than any other country right now is peace and security.”

In September, New Delhi called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan citing killings of Indian security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the release of Pakistani postage stamps "glorifying a terrorist and terrorism".

Khan’s Tweet on Kashmir

Khan’s statement comes a day after he remarked about the alleged “new cycle of killings” in Kashmir “by Indian security forces”.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs responded to his statement, calling it “deeply regrettable.”

In a tweet, Khan said he “condemned the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris.” He said India must “resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people”.

The MEA, later in the day, asked the Pakistani leadership to “look inwards and address their own issues.”

"“The remarks made by Pakistan’s Prime Minister in his tweet today are deeply regrettable. Instead of making comments on India‘s internal affairs, Pakistan leadership should look inwards and address its own issues.”" - MEA Statement "“Pakistan would serve the interest of the people of the region by taking credible action against all kinds of support to terrorism and terror infrastructure from all territories under its control, rather than supporting and glorifying [terror] against India and its other neighbours.”" - MEA statement

Three militants were killed on Sunday, 21 October, in an encounter with security forces in the Kulgam district of Kashmir, while six civilians lost their lives in a blast following the gunfight there.

This is not the first time Khan has spoken about Kashmir.

In his victory speech after the July elections, Khan expressed his willingness to improve Pakistan’s ties with India and said his government would like the leaders of the two sides to resolve all disputes, including the “core issue” of Kashmir, through talks.

He said good India-Pakistan relations will be beneficial for the entire region.

India maintains that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of a part of the state's territory.

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