Pak Opposition raises eyebrows over Imran Khan’s dialogue offer to India

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Pakistan’s Opposition Senators raised in the House the issue of the dialogue offer presented to India by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at a time when ‘Indian forces had intensified brutalities in Indian-administered Kashmir’, Pakistan news agency Dawn online reported.

Senate’s former chairman Mian Raza Rabbani of Pakistan Peoples Party said that ‘Indian forces continued to perpetrate atrocities on Kashmiris who were struggling to achieve their cherished goal’, adding that ‘given the situation in held Kashmir the PM’s offer for talks to India was incomprehensible’.

He said Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s letter to Khan was ‘ceremonial in nature, but an offer of dialogue was made in the letter written in response to it’.

He made note of the ‘language used in the letter’ and objected to the phrase, ‘we are ready to discuss terrorism’, adding that ‘it was known to all’ what India’s position was on the issue of terrorism.

While referring to Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood’s remarks that “let the CPEC projects be put on hold for one year”, he said ‘a clarification just said he had been quoted out of context, leaving people to wonder what he had actually said.’

He also showed concern over reports that Saudi Arabia had been offered to build a city of oil in Gwadar. “Is it the singular superpower you are trying to please? Do you want to realign the foreign policy?” he asked and added that it could not be done by ‘off-the-cuff actions and statements’.

Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl asked as to ‘how a single individual could offer dialogue to India’. He criticized Khan  for writing a letter to his Indian counterpart ‘without taking parliament into confidence’.

In response, Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that ‘Khan’s letter to the Indian prime minister was a response to a communication he received from him’. He said Pakistan ‘wanted to find a solution to all bilateral disputes with India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir’.

“The two countries have been fighting for seventy years and we can continue to fight for another seventy years if India wants,” he said.

He added that Khan’s ‘vision was to alleviate sufferings of the millions of people living below the poverty line in the region’ and said Pakistan would be ‘in the middle of two big international markets if its relations with India are normalised’.

After India called off talks with Pakistan citing killing of a BSF personnel, killing of cops in Kashmir and ‘glorifying’ Burhan Wani by issuing postage stamps, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan called the move ‘arrogant and disappointing.’

In a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office said that the reasons cited by the Indian side for the decision to cancel the foreign ministers’ meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, are entirely unconvincing. 

Moreover India had also said that Pakistan has issued stamps glorifying slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani.

PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday reacting to the killings of policemen said that Government of India’s ‘muscular policy’ is clearly not working in the valley.

She also added that dialogue now seems to be a ‘distant dream’.

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