Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s security adviser says Kashmir must be on the agenda for talks.
Amid the ongoing deadlock between India and China, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisor on national security issues has said that India has expressed willingness to negotiate. Moed Yusuf, Khan’s special assistant on national security and strategic policy planning, said India sent a message to Pakistan with a willingness to negotiate, but declined to provide details.
Yusuf even said that India has also put many conditions for negotiation, including many changes in Jammu and Kashmir. The conditions set by Yusuf to negotiate with India include the release of political prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir, forming a party for the Kashmiris to negotiate, abolishing restrictions in the region, repealing the domicile law, which allows non-Kashmiris in the region And to prevent alleged human rights abuses.
He also said that change in Jammu and Kashmir is not an internal matter, it is a matter of the United Nations. Yusuf made this remark in an interview with journalist Karan Thapar for the news portal The Wire.
The statement comes for the first time by a Pakistani official in India in August 2019, after abolishing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories.
Yusuf said that ‘both sides should move forward for talks and discuss two major issues – Kashmir and terror’. He said that ‘I want to talk about both, Pakistan stands for peace and we want to move forward’. Indian officials, however, did not immediately respond to Yusuf’s comments.
It is extremely rare for Pakistani officials to speak on foreign policy issues, such as relations with India without overtaking the military establishment, which plays an important role in directing relations with the US and India. Joseph is considered close to the security establishment.
Last month, Yusuf created a furore after he joined a virtual meeting of national security advisors of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, which incorrectly depicted the borders of India and Pakistan. In protest, India’s NSA Ajit Doval walked out of the meeting. The case was later handled by Russia’s intervention, which hosted the meeting.
On the issue of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for his alleged involvement in espionage, Yusuf said that the evidence linked him to destructive activities.
Asked by India if Jadhav should represent an Indian lawyer or a lawyer of the British Queen’s Legal Services to file an appeal against his death sentence, Yusuf said that an Indian lawyer should be allowed to argue a case in a Pakistani court. There is no law to allow. He also refused to accept that Pakistan had denied India’s unbridled and unconditional consular access to Jadhav.