Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has an “anti-Muslim” and “anti-Pakistan” approach and claimed New Delhi rebuffed all his gestures due to the upcoming general elections.
Khan made the remarks in an interview to the Washington Post on Thursday. Later, at an event in the capital on Friday the Prime Minister said that “the condition of Muslims in today’s India proved that the demand for a separate homeland was justified”.
Asked during the interview with the Post that why his gestures to India were dismissed since he took power earlier this year, Khan said “The ruling party (in India) has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach.”
He claimed that India rejected his repeated calls for peace because it has the general elections coming up in 2019. “India has elections coming up. They rebuffed all my overtures.”
Khan expressed the hope that once the elections get over in India, both countries can resume talks.
He later addressed Baloch students during an event here on Friday and said: “The way Muslims are treated today in India has made people realise now why Pakistan was born.”
In his interview with the Post, Khan said that he opened the Kartarpur border to facilitate visa-free pilgrimage by Indian Sikhs to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara where Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life.
A day earlier, Khan slammed New Delhi for giving a “political colour” to his gesture of Kartarpur border opening and called it “unfortunate”.
“Unfortunately, India portrayed it as us seeking political advantage… The Indian media gave Kartarpur (border opening) a political colour as if we did this to gain some sort of political mileage. This is not true. We did it because it is part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s manifesto,” he said.
The Pakistani leader also said that he “wants something done about the bombers of Mumbai”, adding that “resolving that case is in our interest because it was an act of terrorism”.
Ten Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai through the sea in 2008 and went on a killing spree, leaving 166 Indians and foreigners dead. Indian security forces shot dead nine of them while a 10th, who was captured, was hanged.