Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told a visiting US Congressional delegation on Monday that talks with India were out of question in view of the situation in Kashmir after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Tensions are high between the two neighbours ever since Narendra Modi-government decided to scrap provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the state. The Parliament of India has also approved the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
Khan said there would be no talks with India during a meeting with US senators Chris Van Hollen and Maggi Hassan, who met to share their observations with the prime minister about their visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Sunday, Geo News reported.
Khan said he was the biggest supporter of Pakistan-India talks; however, it is impossible until the situation is changed for the better in Kashmir.
But India has pointed out to Pakistan that as long as it supports cross-border terrorism, New Delhi will not resume talks with Islamabad.
Khan also thanked the US senators for cooperation on the issue of Kashmir.
Prior to this, Van Hollen was in India and was declined permission to visit Kashmir to see the situation ‘first-hand’.
“I wanted to visit Kashmir to see first-hand what was happening, but was not allowed by the Indian government. We had approached the government about a week ago, but were told it was not the right time to go there,” the Indian Express had quoted Hollen as saying.
“I had thought it would be useful to go there and see the situation myself. My personal view is that if you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear by allowing visitors to the state. I can only conclude that the Indian government doesn’t want us to see what’s happening out there,” he added.
According to The Hindu report, Chris Van Hollen has now added an appeal to end what it calls a “humanitarian crisis” in Kashmir in its report ahead of the annual Foreign Appropriations Act for 2020. The report has asked the Government of India to: fully restore telecommunications and Internet services; lift its lockdown and curfew; and release individuals detained pursuant to the Government's revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.”