Pakistan is ready to talk with India, only if New Delhi provides a roadmap towards restoring the previous status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday.
In 2019, India withdrew IOJK’s self-sufficiency, in order to tense up its grip over the conflicted territory, igniting outrage in Pakistan, leading to the reduction of diplomatic ties and complete suspension of bilateral trade among the two countries.
“If there is a roadmap, then, yes, we will talk,” PM Imran Khan told Reuters at his official residence in Islamabad.
Previously, PM Imran Khan and his government had held that India would have to first reverse its 2019 steps for any stabilization process to begin.
“Even if they give us a roadmap, that these are the steps that we will take to basically undo what they did, which is illegal, against international law and United Nations resolutions then that is acceptable,” Khan said.
Whereas India’s external affairs ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
History of IOJK
Kashmir has been a snapping point since India and Pakistan gained independence from British rule in 1947, and they have fought two wars over the region.
“It is common sense that if you want to reduce poverty in the subcontinent, the best way is to trade with each other,” he said, referring to the example of the European Union.
Pakistan in March postponed a decision by its top economic decision-making body to restart trade with India until Delhi revised its moves in Kashmir.
He said India had crossed a “red line” by withdrawing the independence of occupied Kashmir. “They have to come back for us to resume dialogue,” Khan said, adding, “at the moment there is no response from India”.
Whereas earlier this year, Indian officials stated that both governments had opened a backchannel of peacekeeping that is meant at a different roadmap to normalizing ties over the next several months.