‘No chance’ of bilateral talks with India on Kashmir until curfew is lifted: Imran Khan

Shreya

New Delhi, Sep 18: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that there will be no bilateral talks with India until what he calls "curfew" is lifted from Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to local media in Pakistan, Khan said, "There is no chance of talks with India on Kashmir until the curfew is lifted."

Khan, who has been vocal against the Indian government on the scrapping of Article 370, had said earlier that there is "no question" of talks with India. Since the decision, Pakistan has been trying to garner support from the international community to back its stand.

New Delhi has maintained that there is no curfew in Jammu and Kashmir, which is now a union territory of India.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had ruled out any talks with Pakistan till it turned its back on terrorism. India is committed to a generous, non-reciprocal relationship with all its neighbours barring "one" which will remain a "unique challenge" until cross-border terrorism is "successfully addressed and until that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour''.

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The minister said: "It is ironic that while Pakistan's ill-treatment of minorities continues, it waxes eloquently on J&K." He was addressing a press conference here on 100 days of the second Modi government.

To a question on talking Kashmir with Pakistan, he said, "370 is not a bilateral issue, 370 is an internal issue. With regard to Pakistan, the issue is not 370, the issue with Pakistan is terrorism."

He said there is no change in Indias policy on Pakistan.

Importantly, US President Donald Trump had said that he will meet both Indian and Pakistani leaders in the next few days while claiming that "a lot of progress is being made" in defusing tensions between South Asia's two nuclear-armed neighbours.

"I'll see Prime Minister Modi and I will - we'll - be meeting with (prime ministers of) India and Pakistan," Trump said, adding, "And I think a lot of progress is being made there, a lot of progress."

Trump made these remarks on Monday afternoon while responding to a question about a joint rally which PM Modi and he are scheduled to address in Houston, Texas, on September 22.

India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5. Reacting to India's move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter". New Delhi also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.

India has defended imposition of restrictions in the Kashmir Valley on the grounds that they were put to prevent Pakistan from creating more mischief through proxies and terrorists.

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