'Lukewarm response' to Kashmir issue in global community, admits Imran Khan

In an interview with DW, Khan said that there has been a "lukewarm response" to the Kashmir issue and said that "commercial interests are more important for the Western countries".

Published: 17th January 2020 07:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2020 07:20 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. | (Photo | AP)

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (File Photo | AP)


BONN (Germany): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday admitted that there are no takers of the Kashmir issue from the international community.

In an interview with DW, a German state-owned public international broadcaster, Khan said that there has been a "lukewarm response" to the Kashmir issue and said that "commercial interests are more important for the Western countries".

"Unfortunately, commercial interests are more important for Western countries. India is a big market and that is the reason behind the lukewarm response to what is happening to some 8 million people in Kashmir, as well as to minorities in India," he said.

"Sadly, yes. Consider the sort of media attention the Hong Kong protests are getting. The tragedy of Kashmir is much greater," Khan told DW's Ines Pohl when asked whether the world is paying little attention to the Kashmir issue. Khan once again devoted a major part of his interview by raking up anti-India rhetorics and said that New Delhi did not respond to Pakistan's peace overtures because of what he called "RSS ideology".

Asked about the rise in tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir, Khan said: "I was the first leader to warn the world about what is happening in India. India has been taken over by an extremist ideology known as 'Hindutva.' It is the ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)."

"The RSS, a political organisation founded in 1925, was inspired by the German Nazis, and its founding fathers believed in racial supremacy. Just as the Nazi ideology was built on hatred for minorities, the RSS ideology is also based on hatred for Muslims and other minorities, including Christians," he continued.

"After I became prime minister, I made an effort to talk to the Indian government and Prime Minister Modi. In my first speech as prime minister, I said that if India moved one step forward, we would take two steps toward to resolve our differences. But I soon came to know that India did not respond well to my offer because of the RSS ideology," he stated.

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Khan made the comments days after China and Pakistan held an informal closed-door consultation on Kashmir in the UN Security Council in New York, more than five months after India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in August.

India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said that the overwhelming majority of the UNSC believed that the world body was not the right forum to discuss the Kashmir issue.

"An effort was made by Pakistan through a member of UNSC to once again misuse the platform of UNSC. The overwhelming majority of UNSC was of the view that the UNSC was not the right forum for such issues and it should be discussed bilaterally between India and Pakistan," Kumar had said during the weekly press briefing in New Delhi.

"The formal closed-door meeting, therefore, ended without any outcome. In our view, it was once again highlighted Pakistan desperate measures to peddle baseless allegations and present an alarming scenario it lacks any credibility," the spokesperson said.

The UNSC's closed-door meeting was called to discuss an issue relating to an African country. China made a request to deliberate on the Kashmir issue under the agenda of "Any Other Business Points." No other UNSC member, barring China, commented on the meeting after it ended given that it was an informal consultation.

India has time and again made it clear that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and there is no scope for third-party mediation. 

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