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Peace with Pakistan will give India direct access to central Asia: Imran Khan

Prime News, International and National, Islamabad, March 18:- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said India will benefit economically by having peace with his country as it will enable New Delhi to directly access the resource-rich Central Asia region through Pakistani territory.

Delivering the inaugural address at the launch of the two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue, Imran Khan also claimed that his government after coming to power in 2018 did everything for better ties with India and it was for India to reciprocate.

India will have to take the first step. Unless they do so, we cannot do much, he said.

India last month said that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said repeatedly that the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

India has also told Pakistan that “talks and terror” cannot go together and has asked Islamabad to take demonstrable steps against terror groups responsible for launching various attacks on India.

Imran Khan discussed Pakistan’s vision of comprehensive national security, built on the pillars of traditional and non-traditional security, including his vision for economic prosperity and human welfare.

He dwelt at length on the issue of peace in the region, including peace between Pakistan and India, saying “the unresolved Kashmir issue was the biggest hurdle between the two countries.”

Imran Khan said that having a direct route to the Central Asian region will economically benefit India. Central Asia is rich in oil and gas.

Central Asia, in the modern context, generally includes five resource-rich countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into two Union territories in August 2019.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution was its internal matter. The Ministry of External Affairs has also underlined that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India.

India and Pakistan had announced on February 25 that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)

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