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Normalising relations with India at present would be a major 'betrayal' to Kashmiris: PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan On Sunday Said Pakistan Could Not Improve Its Trade With India At The Cost Of The Blood Of The Kashmiris Spilt By India, Stressing That Any Normalisation With New Delhi Under The Current Circumstances Would Be A Major "betrayal"

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Interacting with the public in a live Q&A session, the premier said there was "no doubt" that the benefits would be immense if relations with India improved and trade and connectivity started, citing examples from other parts of the world such as the formation of the European Union which he said had benefitted all member countries.

"I tried since the first day after coming into power that we have [friendly] relations with India and the issue of Kashmir is resolved through dialogue but [considering] the situation right now, if we normalise relations with India at this time we will be doing a major betrayal with the people of Kashmir," Imran said.

He added that re-establishing ties at the moment would be tantamount to "ignoring all their struggle and the more than 100,000 Kashmiris martyred".

"There is no doubt that our trade will improve but all their blood will be wasted, so this cannot happen," the prime minister emphasised, saying Pakistan stood with the Kashmiris and was aware of the kind of sacrifices they had given and were giving.

"So this cannot happen that our trade improves at [the cost of] their blood," he said.

The premier added that talks could be had and a roadmap to solve the Kashmir issue could be devised if India took back its actions of August 5, 2019.

India had repealed Article 370 of its constitution on Aug 5 that year and thus revoked occupied Kashmir's special autonomy. Pakistan had subsequently downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and then suspended bilateral trade with it.

United Nations General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, during his recent visit to Islamabad, had called on all parties to refrain from changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir and said a solution was to be found through peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolutions as agreed in the Simla Agreement between Pakistan and India.

He had also said that it was Pakistan's duty to bring the issue of Jammu and Kashmir to the UN platform with more vigour.

Speaking about the Palestine issue, Prime Minister Imran said it was similar to the Kashmir conflict.

He said there were only two end results to the issue: either a type of "ethnic cleansing" similar to that seen in Spain of Muslims and Jews, which he said couldn't happen due to the world's attention and increasing awareness about the issue, or a two-state solution.

"I think the kind of awareness and movement which have started in the international media and the world will take the Palestinians towards a two-state solution."