Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

RELATIONS CAN’T BE NORMAL TILL ART 370 RESTORED, SAYS IMRAN KHAN

- HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: Relations between Pakistan and India cannot be normalised till New Delhi rolls back its decision of August 2019 to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday. Addressing a joint press interactio­n with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon in Islamabad, Khan said the full potential of the region can be achieved only if the situation in Afghanista­n stabilises and there are better ties between India and Pakistan. Following back-channel contacts facilitate­d by countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the militaries of India and Pakistan recommitte­d themselves to the 2009 ceasefire on the Line of Control in February. However, efforts initiated by Khan’s government to resume normal trade ties fell through because of opposition to the move within his government.

“The challenge for Pakistan is that the full potential of the region will be realised if there is peace in the region,” Khan said.

Referring to Pakistan’s strained relations with India, he said, “Unfortunat­ely, since their unilateral decision on Kashmir it is very difficult for us to normalise trade with [India] because it will be a betrayal of the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people.”

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