Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said war is not a solution to the Kashmir issue, which can be resolved through talks. In an interview to a group of television journalists in Islamabad, Khan said unless there was a dialogue, various options on resolution of Kashmir cannot be discussed.
When asked about the formula to resolve the Kashmir issue, Khan said there were two or three solutions, which have been in discussions. He, however, refused to share more details, saying it was "too early to talk about them".
Khan claimed he was informed by late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former foreign minister Natwar Singh during a conference that Kashmir would have been resolved if the BJP had not lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
"It shows that there is a solution of Kashmir and both countries were close to resolve it," the Pakistani prime minister insisted.
Ruling out the possibility of any war with India, he said two nuclear armed countries would not fight because "there are always unintended consequences".
Asserting that Pakistan was serious to develop peaceful ties with all its neighbours, Khan claimed India was not ready to hold talks with the country due to the upcoming general elections. Replying to a query on his views on the military's role in shaping of foreign policy in every country, including the US, he said, "Advice from the establishment is taken in those issues where security situation is involved."
Khan said the Pakistan Army and his government "are on the same page" and his decisions are "backed" by the military.
'Kartarpur corridor's opening was not googly'
Attempting to do some damage control, Khan said the Kartarpur corridor's opening was not a googly but a straight-forward decision, contradicting his Foreign Minister's remarks that led to a war of words with his Indian counterpart.
Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri along with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the event in Pakistan on November 28. On Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Prime Minister Khan bowled a "googly" to ensure Indian government's presence at the groundbreaking ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor. Qureshi's controversial comments drew sharp criticism from India with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj saying his comments "exposed" him and that Pakistan has "no respect for Sikh sentiments".
Asked to comment on the recent war of words between Qureshi and Swaraj, Prime Minister Khan said that Islamabad is sincere in establishing peaceful ties with New Delhi. "The Kartarpur corridor opening was not a googly or a double game but a straightforward decision," Khan told Geo News.
On November 26, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Gurdaspur. In a series of tweets on Saturday, Swaraj said: "Mr. Foreign Minister of Pakistan - Your 'googly' remarks in a dramatic manner has exposed none but YOU. This shows that you have no respect for Sikh sentiments. You only play 'googlies'.
"Let me explain to you that we were not trapped by your 'googlies'. Our two Sikh Ministers went to Kartarpur Sahib to offer prayers in the Holy Gurudwara," she said.
In cricket, when a leg-spinner delivers an off spin bowl using the leg-spin technique, it is called googly. It is a leg-spinner's prize weapon which is almost undetectable.