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Imran Khan: Ready to talk to Modi, can’t live in past

Published : Nov 30, 2018, 12:36 am IST
Updated : Nov 30, 2018, 12:36 am IST

Khan said that people in Pakistan want peace with India and he will be happy to meet Modi and talk to him on any issue.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: AP)
 Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: AP)

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that he was ready to hold talks with Indian PM Narendra Modi while conceding that it was not in his country’s interest to allow terror activities from its territory. His remarks came a day after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj categorically ruled out the possibility of holding talks with Pakistan unless it stops all cross-border terror activities.

“It is not in our interest to allow use of Pakistan’s territory for terror outside,” said Mr Khan, who is celebrating 100 days of his government, during an interaction with a group of Indian journalists here on Thursday.

Mr Khan said that people in Pakistan want peace with India and he will be happy to meet Mr Modi and talk to him on any issue. “I am ready for talks on any issue. There can’t be a military solution for Kashmir,” he said, adding that “nothing is impossible” when asked whether it was possible to resolve the Kashmir issue. “The mindset of people here has changed,” Khan said, a day after he laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur Corridor that will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur — the final resting place of the Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev — with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur.

Speaking to the television channel NDTV, Mr Khan also said he “can’t be held responsible for the past” when he was asked about India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.

“We can’t live in the past. We also have a list of wanted in India....”

Pakistan is projecting the corridor as a goodwill gesture. “The India I know — the majority must be appreciating it,” Mr Khan told the Indian journalists who had arrived in Pakistan to cover the ground-breaking ceremony of the corridor.

He, however, said the gesture for peace cannot be one-sided. “We are willing to wait for (general) elections to get over in India for a gesture from New Delhi,” Mr Khan said, referring to the Lok Sabha polls due next year.

On punishing Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who has a $10 million US government bounty on his head, Imran Khan said: “There are UN sanctions against Hafiz Saeed. There is already a clampdown on him.” He added: “These are the issues we have inherited”.

On the other accused in the 26/11 case, Mr Khan said the matter was sub judice. The 26/11 attack case has entered into the 10th year but none of its seven suspects in Pakistan has been punished yet, showing that the case had never been in its priority list.

Tags: imran khan, sushma swaraj, kartarpur corridor