04:04 GMT13 May 2021
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    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has played a crucial role in the US-Taliban Doha peace process in an attempt to bring stability to war-torn Afghanistan. Of late, the PM and Pakistani armed forces chief also expressed their eagerness to settle the decades-old Kashmir dispute with India.

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is optimistic that New Delhi will agree to end the decades-old dispute over Kashmir in a peaceful manner to bring prosperity to the region. Khan mentioned that he reach out first to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.

    “Immediately when I came into power, I approached Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and explained that the way forward for the subcontinent, for us to resolve differences through dialogue and then improve our trade relationship. I did not success but I am optimistic that eventually sense will prevail,” Khan said while addressing the media in Colombo during his two day visit to Sri Lanka.

    Earlier this month, Khan stated that if India is sincere about seeking a just solution to the Kashmir issue, in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions, Pakistan is "ready to take two steps forward for peace."

    Diplomatic relations between the two nuclear-armed nations stalled after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's temporary special status in August 2019. However, speculation about the resumption of diplomatic relations has been rife after Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa said in a surprise statement earlier this month that "it is time to extend a hand of peace in all directions."

    The Indian government maintained its position and said talks would not happen until Pakistan tackled cross-border terrorism. However, Islamabad refuted the allegations and claimed that Pakistan has suffered more by losing lost thousands of citizens amid foreign-sponsored terrorism-related violence across the country.

    The dispute over Jammu and Kashmir has been ongoing since 1947. New Delhi claims sovereignty over the entirety of the Jammu and Kashmir region, currently divided by the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan.

    Playing mediator between China and the US

    Khan also said that he is ready to help ease tensions between China and the US.

    “Pakistan can also play its part in reducing the rising tensions between US and China. Some 50 years back it was Pakistan which opened up China for the United States. It was Pakistan which organised the meeting between Henry Kissinger and Chinese,” Khan added.

    Henry Kissinger was US Secretary of State and is well known for the role he played in Sino-American relations during the Nixon administration, particularly during Nixon's 1972 visit to China.

    Earlier in the day, Wang Wentao, China’s new commerce minister, said that Beijing is ready to "enhance exchanges" with the US regarding trade and economics, and that he's looking forward to cooperating with Washington.  

    The ongoing rivalry between the US and China intensified after former US President Donald Trump announced a series of tariffs on Chinese goods to narrow the trade gap between the two countries. It further escalated when the Trump administration blacklisted Huawei Technologies, ZTE, chipmaker SMIC, and dozens others to restrict China's access to key technologies, including semiconductors and markets in allied nations, citing national security concerns.

    Beijing has repeatedly and sharply denied its technologies pose cybersecurity risks and accused the US of unilaterally violating trade norms.


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