ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that there might be better chances of peace with India if Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the general elections.
“If the next Indian government is led by the opposition Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), fearing a backlash from the right,” the prime minister told a small group of foreign journalists in an interview.
“Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party — wins, some kind of settlement on Kashmir could be reached.”
This is despite the massive alienation that Muslims in IOK and India are facing under the Modi regime, Imran observed.
“I never thought I would see what is happening in India right now. Muslim-ness is being attacked.”
The prime minister said Indian Muslims he knew — who many years ago were happy about their situation in India — were now very worried by extreme Hindu nationalism.
The prime minister noted that the BJP’s pledge this week to propose stripping decades-old special rights from the people of IoK that prevent outsiders from buying property there is a major concern, though it could also be electioneering.
He added that the Kashmir liberation movement was a political struggle and there was no military solution.
Imran reiterated that Islamabad was determined to dismantle all militant groups in the country and that the government had the full support of the army for the programme.
The premier said if the polls turned against Modi in the next few weeks, there was still a possibility that India could take military action against Pakistan to boost his party’s election campaign.
“It is vital for Pakistan to have peaceful ties with its neighbours, Afghanistan, India and Iran, if it was to have the kind of economy needed to pull 100 million people out of poverty,” he remarked.