India-Pakistan peace talks: Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan again targeted the country's former Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and claimed he had forced him to give pro-India remarks and develop friendly relations with New Delhi during his tenure.
“Gen Bajwa wanted me to develop friendly ties with India. He put pressure on me for this and it was one of the reasons our relationship deteriorated,” Khan claimed during an interaction with social media journalists at his Lahore’s Zaman Park residence on Saturday evening.
He, however, maintained his stand over the peace talks with India and asserted Islamabad could initiate any such negotiations unless it restores Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir valley.
Allegations without evidence
Khan, who frequently target General Bajwa for toppling his government in April last year, has again lambasted him and accused the top Army official of laying the foundation stone of the economic disaster. Also, the PTI chief accused him of committing atrocities against him, his party members and journalists. “Bajwa wanted me killed,” Khan alleged.
He, however, did not give any concrete evidence to prove his allegations.
Earlier last month, the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) said India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan but it should negotiate in an atmosphere free of terror and violence. At the same time, it said the onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive environment.
"Pakistan continues to engage in hostile and fabricated propaganda to vilify India, and to divert attention from its domestic political and economic failures," said MEA.
"India has completely and unequivocally rejected all actions and statements by Pakistan on matters which are completely internal to India," the MEA said.
It said there is a greater understanding among countries that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that the matters related to it are internal to the country.
"Despite India's persistent urging that Pakistan respects its January 2004 commitment of not allowing its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India, there was no let-up in cross-border terrorism, infiltration and illegal smuggling of arms into India across the Line of Control (LoC) and International Boundary," the MEA said.
PM Shehbaz Sharif also wants good relations with India
It is worth mentioning the remarks from the Indian side came nearly two days after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, during an interview with a Dubai-based Television, said that the nation has learned its lesson after three wars with India and that it stressed that now it wants peace with its neighbour.
"My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Modi is that let's sit down at the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning points like Kashmir. It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources," Sharif said.
"India is our neighbour country, we are neighbours. Let's be very blunt, even if we are not neighbours by choice we are there forever and it is up to us for us to live peacefully and progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources. That is up to us," Shehbaz Sharif said in the interview with Al Arabiya.