Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the BJP of having an “anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach” and expressed hope that the stalled bilateral talks could resume after the general elections in India next year.
“India has elections coming up. The ruling party has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach. They rebuffed all my overtures,” Khan said in an interview to The Washinton Post.
Speaking on Pakistan’s role in prosecuting the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai blasts, the PTI leader said, “We also want something done about the bombers of Mumbai. I have asked our government to find out the status of the case. Resolving that case is in our interest because it was an act of terrorism.”
Khan further said that he had opened the Kartarpur border to facilitate visa-free pilgrimage by Indian Sikhs to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara where Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev spent his last 18 years of his life. “I have opened a visa-free peace corridor with India called Kartarpur [so that Indian Sikhs can visit a holy shrine in Pakistan]. Let’s hope that after the election is over, we can again resume talks with India,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Khan said his government and the Army hoped that India will respond “positively” to Pakistan’s “goodwill gesture” of opening the Kartarpur border for the Sikh pilgrims.
On November 28, Khan had laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor on the Pakistani side while on November 26, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid its foundation stone in Punjab’s Gurdaspur.