Pakistan would not restore ties with India until New Delhi reverses its decision on Kashmir: Imran Khan30 June 2021
By Sajjad Hussain Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that Pakistan would not restore diplomatic ties with India until New Delhi revokes its decision of scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5, 2019 and bifurcated it into two Union territories. 'I want to make it clear that diplomatic relations will not be restored with India until it rescinds the illegal steps of 5th August 2019,' Khan said while addressing the National Assembly. Khan said that 'entire Pakistan stands by their Kashmiri brothers and sisters'. His statement comes amid reports of back-channel contacts between the two sides which led to a ceasefire on the Line of Control in February but no further movement has been reported to normalise the ties. Pakistan had downgraded ties with India and suspended trade after the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. India has maintained that the issue related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was entirely an internal matter of the country. India has also made it clear to Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office on Wednesday categorically rejected a reported statement of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy regarding the recent drone attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Two explosives-laden drones crashed into the IAF station at Jammu airport in the early hours of Sunday, perhaps the first time that suspected Pakistan-based terrorists have used unmanned aerial vehicles in an attack. Reddy had reportedly said that Pakistan's role in the attack cannot be denied.