New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that he will let the people of Kashmir decide whether they want to join Pakistan or independent. His comments come at a time when the Indian government has given a hint of holding elections in the now Union Territory after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met all the major political parties in New Delhi in June.
Addressing a rally in Tarar Khal area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on July 25 while campaigning for the elections in the region, Imran rejected claims by leading Opposition leader Maryam Nawaz said that the government was working towards making Kashmir a province of Pakistan.
“I do not know where all this talk (about province) has sprung from,” Khan said while dismissing any such idea.
Instead, he said that a day will come when Kashmiris would be allowed to decide their future as per the United Nations (UN) resolution and on that day the Kashmiris would opt to join Pakistan.
He added that “his government will hold another referendum to give the people of Kashmir a choice to either live with Pakistan or become an independent state.”
Pakistan’s policy on Kashmir has been to let the people of Kashmir decide their future as per the UN resolutions.
India has previously made it clear that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. New Delhi has also told Islamabad that issues related to Jammu and Kashmir are its internal matter and the country is capable of solving its own problems.
Responding to PML-N’s allegations of election rigging, Khan questioned how his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could rig the upcoming polls when the PML-N was still in power in PoK and even the election commission officials were appointed during the PML-N’s government.
Khan said his party had been asking the Opposition for a year to come to discuss electronic voting machines.
“This technology helps you get the results of polls in no time and there will not be any need for manual counting of votes and moving of the polling bags from one place to another, which is a tiring exercise,” he said.
With inputs from PTI