Determination necessary to solve Kashmir issue with India: Imran Khan

Arturo Kim
November 29, 2018

Khan also came in defence of Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for being criticised by several Indian leaders for visiting Pakistan to attend the former's oath-taking ceremony and hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa.

In his tweet, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office Dr Muhammad Faisal said, "The world comes together for the #PakistanKartarpurSpirit - diplomats attending the groundbreaking ceremony".

The call for a visa-free Kartarpur Sahib corridor is an old demand from the Sikh community.

Sidhu crossed the global border at Wagah and was received by Pakistani authorities.

There will be no dialogue with Pakistan unless it desists from terrorist activities against India, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj declared Wednesday, in a rebuff to Pakistan a day after Islamabad said it would invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the SAARC summit.

Swaraj, who is campaigning here ahead of the Telangana elections on December 7, said, "The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, dialogue can start but the dialogue is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor".

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Last Friday, India's foreign ministry summoned Pakistan's deputy chief of mission in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest against the "harassment and denial of access to Indian High Commission officials and attempts at hostile propaganda during the visit of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan".

The Pakistani prime minister has said that India and Pakistan should learn lessons from the past to resolve the differences over Jammu and Kashmir while asserting that if India takes one step forward then Pakistan will take two steps forward toward friendship during the foundation laying ceremony of a pilgrimage corridor. "Past teaches us that we need to keep moving forward", Khan said.

She, however, added that resumption of a "bilateral dialogue and the Kartarpur project are two different things". He compared the situation to that of France and Germany - they fought many wars and there was a lot of bloodshed but their leaders made a decision to move forward. "After all what's the impediment in holding talks, nobody is doing it on gunpoint", she said.

"But we have one problem, that of Kashmir".

Earlier Indian Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is also a senior member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, also addressed the gathering.

He said Sidhu has such a large fan following in Pakistan, specially in the country's Punjab province, that if he ran in elections here, he would win. Speaking to reporters at the Wagah Border, Sidhu hailed the Kartarpur Corridor. "Imagine, once trade begins, once our relationship is fixed, how much both nations could benefit", he said and reiterated that if India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two steps forward in friendship. He added that both the countries stood to gain from better ties. After biometric scanning, they will be free to roam the gurdwara.

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