Pakistan Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressed the students of London School of Economics (LSE) on Saturday where he reflected upon the bitter relations between India and Pakistan over the state of Kashmir, citing that the relations between the two countries can only improve after a permanent resolution of the Kashmir issue. Rejecting the claims of demands of an independent Kashmir, the Pakistani PM, said that there is no support for the cause from any part of the state and he sees no reality in such claims.

Talking about the Kashmir issue at the LSE Future of Pakistan Press Conference, he said: “the idea (Independent Kashmir) is often floated around but has no reality.” Adding that it should be left to the people of Kashmir to decide, he refuted support of ‘Independent Kashmir.’ He further added that Pakistan was open for talks as they are the only way forward. “Talks are the only way forward, without talks no quantum change is possible,” he said. However, with both the countries hosting elections in coming two years, he ruled out any ‘big initiative’ materialising anytime soon.

He also addressed the allegations of Pakistan being a haven for terrorists, and strongly condemning all such claims said, Pakistan has been trying to battle terror for years. “Many believe terror emanates from Pakistan which is not true, we are ‘committed to fighting the terror menace,” he answered a student’s question. He also touched upon Pakistan’s growing influential relationship with US and China and mentioned that Pakistan enjoys great relations with the US and China. Pakistan’s economy has also improved in last few years claimed Abbasi.

Praising the Pakistan Army’s dedication, he said that the army has bettered their relations with the public recently and also added that despite the political instability surrounding the country, Pakistan politics is not dull and the challenges will be countered soon.