Imran Khan Praises President Zardari's "Bold Leadership"

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Demonstrates the nation is united and speaking with one voice about the need to solve important issues

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has indirectly praised President Zardari for "bold leadership," it is learned. Speaking to Indian High Commissioner Sharabat Sabharwal last month, Imran Khan stressed the need for dialogue on the Kashmir issue and said a roadmap would help disarm militants and reduce Indian military presence in occupied Kashmir.

“We need a bold leadership which can convince people about the gains by exploring full potential of the subcontinent. We have to sell the idea of dividends of peace and to get out of the past,” Mr Khan said.

The "bold leadership" that Imran Khan sought has been provided, it appears, by President Asif Ali Zardari whose dedication to improving economic and trade relations between Pakistan and India culminated in a historic trip to India last weekend that has helped thaw relations between the two nations.

On Wednesday, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told The Wall Street Journal that India is now willing to work with Pakistan to resolve the longstanding dispute over the territory of Kashmir.

"I wouldn't have been as optimistic six months ago," Indian Foreign Secretary Mathai said about the possibility of resolving the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. "The fact the government is able to move on the trade track shows there's a greater willingness to take things forward by all the players."

By recognising that Kashmir is a political issue that can only be resolved at the negotiating table, Imran Khan has endorsed President Zardari's strategy of changing the status quo policy of treating issues such as Sir Creek estuary, Siachen, and Kashmir as purely national security issues. Imran Khan's indirect praise of President Zardari's "bold leadership" further demonstrates that the nation is united and speaking with one voice about the need to solve these important issues.

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