Govt & army on same page to improve ties with India: Pak PM
Kartarpur: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said his government, the army and all political parties in the country are on the same page to improve ties with India, asserting that all issues, including Kashmir, can be resolved with "strength and will" of the leadership of the two countries.
Khan made a strong pitch for better ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbours after laying the foundation stone for the historic Kartarpur Corridor linking two revered gurdwaras on both sides of the border here.
Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and India's Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu were present during the groundbreaking ceremony. Addressing a gathering later, Khan said Pakistan and India could not understand the opportunities God has given to them. He said whenever he visited India, he was told that politicians are united, but the (Pakistan) army won't allow the friendship between the two sides.
"I am telling you, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the ruling party, other political parties and (Pakistan's) armed forces are on one page...We want to move ahead. We want a civilised relationship with India.
"Both countries are nuclear armed. We both have atomic weapons...It is madness for such countries to think (of a war). Only a foolish individual can think one can win a nuclear war," he said.
Emphasising on the improvement of Indo-Pak ties, Khan said there was need for "showing strength, will and determination" at the level of the leadership. "If France and Germany who fought several wars can live in peace, why can't India and Pakistan," the prime minister said in Urdu.
He said the citizens of both countries want peace and it is just the leadership which needs to be on the same page.
The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev who is believed to have spent 18 years here. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak is said to have died.