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Normalizing ties with India will be tantamount to betraying people of Kashmir: PM Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday while taking a clear and unequivocal stand said that normalizing relations with India will be tantamount to betraying the people of Kashmir.

Interacting with the public via telephone on Sunday, the prime minister said that trade with India without resolving the Kashmir issue would be treachery and “we cannot betray with the blood of Kashmiris.”

PM Imran said that he tried his best on the very first day in power to improve ties with India and to sort out the Kashmir issue through dialogue. “However, in the wake of the current circumstances, if we try to stabilize ties with India, it will be akin to the stabbing of the Kashmiris in the back,” PM Imran remarked.

All the sacrifices and struggle of the Kashmiri people will go to waste and Pakistan does not want it to happen, he maintained, adding that Pakistan always stood by Kashmiris and will keep on to support their struggle.

The premier highlighted If India takes back the steps it took on August 5, then Pakistan can certainly hold talks and build a road map to sort out the Kashmir issue.

PTI’s democratic change

The prime minister, while answering another caller,  said that in Pakistan, PTI had brought about a “democratic change” unlike the revolutions in  Iran and France.

The PTI had overpowered a two-party system in the country and assisted new people to take up high positions, he said.  He also said in the past, the two parties who were at each other’s throats, were now asking he resign and were on one page.

PDM’s interests are personal in nature

PM Imran said that if the PDM’s purpose was aligned with the welfare of the people, adding they would have toppled the government a long time ago. The prime minister said the opposition interests are personal in nature. They have banded together not under any ideology or for the country.

He said that they think the people fools, who have been watching their wealth, grow for the past 25-years. Those who had a cycle business, now have apartments in London’s Mayfair and do not own cars any lesser than Bentleys and Rolls Royces.

“They reside in London neighborhoods where even the British prime minister cannot afford to live. And Britain’s yearly revenue is 50 times that of Pakistan’s with a population only 30% of the size of ours,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister said they really “do not know the nation” if they believe that they will latch on to their narrative and help them get an NRO.

Illegal housing societies

Speaking about illegal housing schemes, PM Imran said a committee has been constituted that will determine which ones need to be shut down and which ones have been developed to an extent that they cannot be pulled down.

The owners of such illegal housing schemes will instead be fined and the societies will be regularized, he said, adding the government will work on legislation to criminalize building such societies.

Palestine issue

Regarding the Palestine issue, PM Imran said the occupation of land and settlements have been ongoing in Palestine for a while, reducing it to a small country.

He said this cycle of Israeli forces’ oppression of Palestinians, leading to protests and then the use of barbaric force in response has been continuing for several years.

The premier said with the hue and cry being witnessed on social media, where the world has woken up to the cruelty the Palestinians are being subjected to, the winds are blowing for the latter to occur.

Water shortage

Responding to a call on the scarcity of water in Sindh, PM said that the government has planned to build 10 dams in the country, adding the dams will facilitate the country to deal with the needs of the burgeoning population and address scarcity of water.

He said distribution within provinces is also an issue, with farmers unable to get the share of water they should. PM Imran Khan, also it is the responsibility of the Sindh government to ensure that the powerful do not take away the share of poor farmers.

Health cards

To a query about health cards, PM Imran said that the government’s initiative to provide health cards to the people is a blessing as the poor cannot afford costly treatments. He said that the facility helps those with low income and the scheme has been extended all over the country. “The KP government has provided billions of rupees to people in the form of health cards,” the PM added.

Rawalpindi Ring Road project

Speaking of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project, the premier said it is integral to the revamping of the metropolis and will feature a business district on Nala Lai.

Imran Khan said he had learned of the road being narrowed down to serve the interests of certain parties and a fact-finding mission confirmed that this was true.

He informed, “A powerful anti-corruption team is working on this now and in the next two weeks, we will have our findings. Now a straight path will be laid out, instead of the roundabout 20-26km path that had previously been chalked out to benefit certain people,” PM Imran added.

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