Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan is not going to be soft towards India, close aides said on Thursday even as the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician described Kashmir as the “biggest problem” and advocated talks between the two neighbours to resolve it. In his first public address after leading his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party to victory in general elections, Mr Khan talked of a peace initiative between Islamabad and Delhi and insisted on a role for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, a stand which even previous Pakistani regimes stuck to despite India’s protests.
Mr Khan said Kashmir is the “core” issue between the two countries and it should be resolved through talks. “I am a person who arguably knows the most people in India because of my days in cricket. We can resolve the poverty crisis in South East Asia. The biggest problem is Kashmir,” he said, suggesting that the two sides should come to table to resolve it.
Mr Khan, known to be harsh towards India in cricket and politics, said, “Kashmiris are suffering for long. We have to solve Kashmir issue by sitting across the table. If India’s leadership is willing then both of us can solve this issue through dialogue. It will be good for the subcontinent also.” As the election results showed a near-majority for Mr Khan, he asserted that the blame game between the two neighbours, detrimental to the sub-continent, should stop.