Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan on Wednesday said the Kashmir dispute must be recognised as a political issue which must be resolved through dialogue.
Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party, made the remarks during a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal.
Other leaders of the party, including former foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, were present at the meeting.
“Totally new thinking” is required to move forward since “war is not a viable option” for India and Pakistan, but Kashmir cannot be put on the backburner, he said.
Khan spoke on the need for dialogue on the Kashmir issue and a roadmap that will “help disarm the militants and help reduce the Indian military presence" in Jammu and Kashmir, said a statement issued by the party.
“We need a bold leadership to explain to the people the gains from developing the full potential of the subcontinent.”
“We have to sell the idea of dividends of peace and get out of the past," he said.
Kasuri supported Khan`s vision and referred to the need for "peace with honour" with regard to the Kashmir issue. Khan reiterated his concern for the security situation in Pakistan, saying this was the reason why he had called for the country to get out of the war on terror.
Sabharwal said commercial relations between the two countries were on track.
He specifically referred to forward movement on travel and trade across the Line of Control and noted that trade was being conducted across the LoC four times a week.
India is working to ease the visa regime, he said.
Both countries are trying to address each other`s concerns on trade and non-tariff barriers in India were not Pakistan-specific, Sabharwal said.