Pakistan PM Shahid Abbasi rejects ‘independent Kashmir’
London: Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday rejected the idea of an “independent Kashmir”, saying it was not based on “reality”, according to a media report. Abbasi was addressing a conference on ‘Future of Pakistan 2017’ held at the London School of Economics’ South Asia Centre.
After his address, the prime minister responded to a range of questions on topics from Afghanistan, civil-military ties, disqualification of his predecessor Nawaz Sharif, to relations with India and the Kashmir issue.
On a question about “independent Kashmir”, the prime minister said “the idea is often floated around but has no reality”, Geo TV reported.
“There is no support for the demand for independent Kashmir,” he claimed.
Talking about ties with India, Abbasi said relations between the two countries cannot improve till the Kashmir issue is resolved.
“Talks are the only way forward, without talks no quantum change is possible,” he said.
To another question, he said though the judiciary had removed Sharif as prime minister, “however we have left it to history to judge whether history accepts the judgment or not”.
He also said that most of Pakistan does not agree with Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court. Sharif was disqualified as premier by the apex court on 28 July in the Panama Papers scandal.
On US-Pakistan relations, Abbasi said they should not be defined by Afghanistan alone. The prime minister also presented a positive picture of Pakistan’s economy and claimed there has been a marked improvement in every economic field since 2013.