‘Can Decide to Join Country or be Independent’: Imran Khan’s New Offer for Kashmir

Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday promised to citizens of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) that he hope for a referendum for the people of Kashmir to find out if they want to join Pakistan or want an independent state.

Addressing an election rally in Tarar Khal area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir ahead of the polls on July 25, Khan also rejected claims by a leading Opposition leader that his government was working on a plan to make Kashmir a province of Pakistan. The response came after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz addressing an election gathering in PoK on July 18 said that a decision had been taken to change the status of Kashmir and make it a province. Instead, the prime minister said that a day would come when Kashmiris would be allowed to decide their future as per the UN resolutions and expressed the confidence that the people of Kashmir on that day would decide to join Pakistan. As per Pakistan’s declared policy on Kashmir, the issue should be resolved as per the UN resolution through a referendum allowing Kashmiris to choose either Pakistan or India.

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.