Monday September 20, 2021

No trade with India unless Kashmir gets original status: PM

April 03, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday reiterated in categorical terms that trade with India could not resume and relations could not normalise unless the Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOJ&K) got back its constitutional status and the Kashmiris were granted their right to self-determination.

He said this while chairing a ministerial meeting on relations with India with the main focus on the plight of Kashmiris and the lingering dispute of Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari and other senior officials attended the meeting. Sources privy to the meeting said the foreign ministry officials gave a briefing to the meeting on the overall situation and trade relations with India.

Some proposals were also floated by the ministry on trade ties with India.

Referring to the ECC summary on import of cotton, yarn and sugar, the prime minister made it clear that any kind of trade with India was possible only after it took back its illegal, unconstitutional steps of August 5, 2019 and restored the constitutional status of Kashmir.

He emphasized that in the present circumstances, trade with India would send a wrong impression to Kashmiris.

The meeting reiterated the government’s stated position on Kashmir issue and relations with India.

Likewise, the prime minister maintained that normal relations with New Delhi were possible only after granting the Kashmiris their right to self-determination in line with the UNSC resolutions.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan presided over a meeting on bringing about improvement in communications in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur, Minister for Information Technology Aminul Haq, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Muhammad Khalid Khurshid and other senior officials attended the meeting.

The meeting considered various projects and related issues to further improve communication and internet facilities in the region.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the government was committed to the development of Gilgit-Baltistan. He added that a historic development package for the development of Gilgit-Baltistan had been approved, opening a new chapter of development in the region.

The prime minister said for promotion of tourism in the region, it was necessary to have 3G and 4G services available in the region so that the youth could learn online through information technology and develop their skills.

The prime minister said that the government had paid special attention to improving connectivity in Gilgit-Baltistan as compared to the past.