Pakistan is ready to give the people of Azad Kashmir their “right” through a referendum or plebiscite to decide whether they want to remain with Pakistan or be independent, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday.
“Let me say, the best thing is let the people of Kashmir decide… the people of Pakistan Kashmir, and the India Kashmir… let them decide what they want to do,” PM Khan said in an interview to German state-owned broadcaster DW. “Pakistan is all ready to give them the right through a referendum or a plebiscite.
“Let them decide whether they want to remain with Pakistan or whether they want to be independent,” the Pakistani premier said. “We are all for it.”
He said the people in Azad Kashmir were much freer than that of India-controlled Kashmir.
“We invite anyone, anywhere in the world, to come and see the Pakistan side of Kashmir and then go and see the Indian side of Kashmir,” PM Khan said.
“Azad Kashmir has free and fair elections. They select their own government. They run their own affairs.”
Pakistan and India have fought two of the three wars over the disputed Himalayan territory.
Tensions between the two countries once again escalated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the autonomous status of India-controlled Kashmir in August 2019.
PM Khan said he had already warned the world about what was happening in India. “India has been taken over by a racially extremist and exclusive ideology,” he added.
He was of the view that the Bharatiya Janata Party was following the “hindutva” ideology of the RSS.
“The RSS ideology is based on hatred for Muslims and other minorities, Christians as well,” the Pakistan premier said.