Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said he was ready to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi while conceding that it was not in the interest of his country to allow terror activities from its territory.
Khan’s remarks came a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj categorically ruled out the possibility of holding talks with Pakistan unless it stops cross-border terror activities.
“It is not in our interest to allow use of Pakistan’s territory for terror outside,” Khan, who is celebrating 100 days of his government Thursday, said during an interaction with a group of Indian journalists here.
Khan said that people in Pakistan want peace with India and he will be happy to meet Modi and talk to him on any issue.
“I am ready for talks on any issue. There can’t be a military solution for Kashmir,” he said, adding “nothing is impossible” when asked whether it is possible to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“The mindset of people here has changed,” Khan said, a day after he laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor that will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur.
Pakistan is projecting the corridor as a goodwill gesture.
“The India I know – majority must be appreciating it,” Khan told the Indian journalists who had arrived in Pakistan to cover the groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor.
He, however, said the gesture for peace cannot be one-sided.
“We are willing to wait for (general) elections to get over in India for a gesture from New Delhi,” Khan said, referring to the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for next year.
On punishing Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who is carrying a USD 10 million US bounty, Khan said, “There are UN sanctions against Hafiz Saeed. There is already a clampdown on him.”
The JuD was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
The group is a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit.
Saeed is the co-founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was responsible for the attacks in which 166 people were killed in November 2008.
He was put under house arrest after the 26/11 attack, but was freed by a court in 2009.
On other accused in the 26/11 case, Khan said their is sub judice.
The 26/11 attack case has entered into the 10th year but none of its seven suspects in Pakistan has been punished yet, showing that the case had never been in its priority list.
India, which is observing the 10th anniversary of one of the worst terrorist attacks in the country, has been pushing Pakistan to bring to justice the planners of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.