Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks that there might be a better chance of peace talks with India if his counterpart Narendra Modi’s party came back to power, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti took a jibe at the confusion Modi supporters might be facing over Khan’s comments.
“Bhakts scratching their heads & at wit ends wondering if they should praise Imran Khan or not,” Mufti tweeted.
According to local media reports, Prime Minister Khan on Tuesday said there might be a better chance of peace talks with India if PM Modi wins the upcoming elections. He reportedly said that if the next Indian government were to be led by the Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir, fearing a backlash from the right wing.
“Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party — wins, some kind of settlement on Kashmir could be reached,” Khan was quoted as saying.
“I never thought I would see what is happening in India right now. Muslim-ness is being attacked,” he added.
Khan’s remarks have come when India is gearing up for general elections due to begin on Thursday, April 11. The results will be out on May 23.
Speaking in line with Mufti, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said, “So much for Modi Sahib telling the country only Pakistan & its sympathisers want BJP to lose. Imran Khan has just endorsed him for a 2nd term.”
“Just imagine what all the “Chowkidar” handles would be doing to @RahulGandhi & the Congress right now if Imran Khan had endorsed RG as PM in these elections? Who is the “tukde tukde” gang now?,” Omar added.
Imran Khan had also noted that Prime Minister Modi, like Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, was electioneering based on “fear and nationalist feeling”.
BJP’s pledge, as per the election manifesto released this week, proposing to strip decades-old special rights from the people of Jammu and Kashmir that prevents outsiders from buying property in the state, was a major concern, though it could also be electioneering, Imran Khan said.
Khan reiterated his stance on terrorism and said that Islamabad was determined to dismantle all militant groups in the country and that the government had full support of the army for the same.
He also said there was still a possibility that India could take military action against Pakistan to boost the BJP’s election campaign.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday warned that Islamabad had “reliable intelligence” that India would attack again this month. However, India refuted the allegations as “irresponsible”.
Lastly, Khan noted that it is vital for his country to have peaceful ties with its neighbours – Afghanistan, India and Iran – if it was to have the kind of economy needed to pull 100 million people out of poverty.
Relations between India and Pakistan reached a crisis after a suicide attack killed 40 soldiers in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. Pakistan based Jaish e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tensions peaked when India conducted airstrikes in retaliation, targeting JeM training camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.