If BJP wins, chances of peace talks with India would be better: Imran Khan

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that said better chances of peace talks might prevail with India if Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) again hits victory in the coming general elections.

PM Khan while talking to a group of foreign journalists said that if Congress party wins the elections then a process of settlement with Pakistan will be difficult over Indian-occupied Kashmir.

“Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party – wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” Khan added.

“I never thought I would see what is happening in India right now,” said the former cricket star. “Muslims are being attacked.”

PM Imran said Indian Muslims he knew who many years ago had been happy about their situation in India were now very worried by extreme Hindu nationalism.

He said Modi, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was electioneering based on “fear and nationalist feeling”.

The premier appeared to offer India an olive branch, saying that Islamabad was determined to dismantle all militias from the country’s soil.

PM Imran said occupied Kashmir was a political struggle and there was no military solution.Tensions soared between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama, occupied Kashmir.

India piled the blame for Pulwama bombing on Pakistan without presenting any proof. The allegations were strongly refuted by Pakistan.

In response, India said it carried out on February 26 air strikes on what it called a militant training camp at Balakot inside Pakistan.

The Indian government was quick to take credit for a “successful” airstrike and put the death toll to over 300. Pakistani officials, as well as the locals, rejected the claims, inviting local and international media to visit the site of the so-called attack where around a dozen trees were the only “casualty”.

According to PM Imran, there was still the possibility if the polls turn against Modi in the next few weeks that India could take some further military action against Pakistan.

The rolling election is held in phases and does not finish until May 19. The result is not due until May 23.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned on Sunday that Islamabad had “reliable intelligence” that India would attack again this month.

PM Imran said that it was vital for Pakistan to have peace with its neighbours, Afghanistan, India and Iran, if it was to have the kind of economy needed to pull 100 million people out of poverty.

This article or news story originally appeared on REUTERS