Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File)
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File)

Imran Khan, Pakistan Prime Minister, on Monday, highlighted the need for improving ties with neighbours India but cheekily said that after his country’s victory against the latter in the T20 World Cup, it was “not a good time” for such a conversation, according to a media report.

Addressing the Pakistan-Saudi Investment Forum in the Saudi capital Riyadh, former Pakistan team’s skipper Imran Khan said that India and Pakistan had only one issue – the Kashmir issue – and urged for resolving it like “civilised” neighbours, as was reported.

Prime Minister Imran Khan.Photo: file
Prime Minister Imran Khan.Photo: file

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Imran Khan: Not A Good Time To Talk About Improving Relations With India After Pakistan Defeated India In 2021 T20I WC

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday stooped to a new low while taking aim at India a day after the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Babar Azam and his men while playing their Super 12 game at the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai.

“We have excellent relations with China, but if somehow we improve our relationship with India – I know after last night’s thrashing by the Pakistan team in the cricket match, it’s not a very good time to talk about improving relations with India,” he said.

Notably, on the one hand, when Imran Khan was seen taking a dig at India’s administration, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni (the mentor of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup), displayed the “Spirit of Cricket” and interacted and congratulated the opponents on Sunday night despite getting drubbed by 10 wickets in the high-voltage game.

The PM’s remarks came a day after Pakistan defeated India in a World Cup fixture in Dubai for the first time. Imran Khan said that the two countries had only one issue – Kashmir, and urged for resolving it like “civilised” neighbours.

“It’s all about human rights and the rights of the people of Kashmir for self-determination as guaranteed by the United Nations Security Council 72 years ago. If that right is given to them, we have no other problems. The two countries can live as civilised neighbours […] just imagine the potential,” he told Saudi businessmen.

He said that India would gain access to Central Asia through Pakistan, and in turn, the latter would gain access to two huge markets.

“This is what I want to impress upon the Saudi business community, that circumstances never remain the same. They always change,” said Khan, who is in Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Ties between the two countries India and Pakistan, nose-dived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in Pakistan. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC

India has told Pakistan many times that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. Recently, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, when asked about the possibility of improvement in India’s ties with Pakistan, said unless the basic core issue of terrorism emanating from the neighbouring country is dealt with, there won’t be chances to improve upon the relationship.

Imran Khan: Saudi Businessmen Can Benefit From Pakistan’s Strategic Location

Highlighting Pakistan’s strategic location, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Saudi businessmen could benefit from what the country has to offer. He called for investors to invest in the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and the Central Business District project near Lahore. He also mentioned another project along the River Indus with 300,000 acres of fertile land. He said that water was available, but a canal was required to water the land.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo via Reuters)
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo via Reuters)

He said that the project had immense opportunities for both countries. Earlier, Imran Khan said that the Pak-Saudi relationship transcends all others, and Pakistan will stand with the Gulf Kingdom to protect its security if Riyadh faces a security threat.

The event was attended by a large number of Saudi investors and businessmen, key Pakistani business leaders, investors from the Pakistani diaspora, and stakeholders from Pakistan’s private sector based in the Kingdom, the statement said.