Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: Reuters)
Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that his government had snapped trade ties with India after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 and claimed that the Shehbaz Sharif-led government wanted to resume it.
Addressing a rally in Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 69-year-old Khan also said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz was "incapable of telling the truth" as he once again accused her of keeping nepotism above national interests.
"Maryam wants to import power plant machinery from India for her son-in-law," he said, while referring to a audio leak in which Prime Minister Sharif is allegedly being told that Maryam's son-in-law wants to import a power plant from India.
"Our government had stopped trade with India because itended the special status of Kashmir," Khan said, adding that the present imported rulers wanted to resume trade relations with India at the cost of Pakistan's integrity and solidarity.
In recent weeks, several business chambers have urged the government to import essential items like onion and tomato from India for the sake of consumers in the wake of soaring prices of the vegetables following the devastating floods in the country.
Relations between India and Pakistan have often been strained over the Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
However, the ties between the two countries nosedived after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
India's decision evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy. Trade ties between Pakistan and India have largely been frozen since then.
Famous for using cricket terminologies in his speeches in relevance to his politicking, the cricketer-turned-politician said this time he would take three wickets with one ball in his struggle for attaining real independence. He claimed the entire nation was standing behind his struggle for real independence.
"The government should not miscalculate the nation's resolve to get rid of these imported rulers, he said.
"We are ready for the final showdown and an announcement for the final call for agitation would be made in a couple of days, he added.
Khan was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.
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First Published: Sep 25 2022 | 11:40 PM IST