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Published On: Tue, Nov 7th, 2017

Azadi for Kashmir has no reality: Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

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indexLONDON : War with India is not an option, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said even as he admitted that the relationship between the two neighbours will remain tense until the Kashmir issue is resolved. “Talks are the only way forward, without talks no quantum change is possible,” he said.

“Until Kashmir is resolved, Pak-India relations will remain tense. But war is not an option,” said Abbasi on Saturday while addressing a conference on `Future of Pakistan 2017` at the London School of Economics` South Asia  Centre. conference on `Future of Pakistan 2017` at the London School of Economics` South Asia Centre.
Abbasi further said that the idea of Azaad Kashmir is often floated around but it “has no reality,” reported Geo TV. “There is no support for the demand for independent.””With regards to Kashmir talks are the only way forward,” he said in his 35-minute-long address.

On Monday, Centre’s new representative for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma held talks with various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, including the political leadership, traders, youth and various other outfits. Kashmiri separatists, however, boycotted the peace talks.

After his address, the prime minister responded to a range of questions on topics from Afghanistan, civil-military ties, disqualification of his predecessor Nawaz Sharif, to relations with India and the Kashmir issue. On a question about “independent Kashmir”, the prime minister said “the idea is often floated around but has no reality”, Geo TV reported. “There is no support for the demand for independent Kashmir,” he claimed.
Talking about ties with India, Abbasi said relations between the two countries cannot improve till the Kashmir issue is resolved. He was answering questions on a range of topics from Afghanistan, civil-military ties, disqualification Nawaz Sharif, to relations with India and the Kashmir issue. Speaking of Pakistan’s fight against home-grown terror groups, Abbasi said, “Pakistan is fighting the largest war against terror. Quarter of our troops are fighting. It’s a battle that Pakistan has won.”

To another question, he said though the judiciary had removed Sharif as prime minister, “however we have left it to history to judge whether history accepts the judgment or not”. He also said that most of Pakistan does not agree with Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court. Sharif was disqualified as premier by the apex court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal. On US-Pakistan relations, Abbasi said they should not be defined by Afghanistan alone.
The prime minister also presented a positive picture of Pakistan’s economy and claimed there has been a marked improvement in every economic field since 2013.He added that the country faces an issue with the distribution of automatic weapons. “There are 0.5 million automatic weapons in private hands in Pakistan. We have taken initiatives to remove this.
Last interim gov, issued over 35000 automatic weapons to private citizens:” He further added that US-Pak relationship should not be defined by Afghanistan alone.

With ANI inputs

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