After India's claims that 'PoK belongs to us', Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday, claimed that his nation was willing to hold a referendum in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), in an interview with Deutsche Welle. He said that he was willing to let the people decide if they wanted to remain with Pakistan or wanted independence. He further claimed that PoK held free and fair elections and it elects its own government.
“Let the people of Kashmir decide what they want,” he said adding, “Pakistan is ready for a referendum or a plebiscite. Let them decide whether they want to remain with Pakistan or to be independent. We are all for it.”
In the course of the interview, Khan took a jibe at India saying,"Like any other administration, they have their problems. But as I said, let us invite observers from all over the world. I assure you that they can go to the Pakistan side of Kashmir but won’t be allowed on the Indian side.”
Inspite of Khan's rhetoric of 'freeing PoK', his own army has time and again targetted PoK civilians - including school children. In a bid to push infiltrators into India, Pakistan has used PoK civilians as bait while firing at the Indian Army. Moreover, time and again PoK civilians have protested against these atrocities by the Pakistan Army.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan has repeatedly meddled into the Kashmir issue since the Indian Parliament abrogated article 370. He has repeatedly fearmongered and peddled fake news on Kashmir's ground situation. He has also faced defeat on an international scale after he called for global mediation into the bilateral issue.
After facing defeat at the UNHRC, UN informal meeting, European Parliament, G7 Summit, Khan also dragged up Kashmir at the UN General Assembly meeting. India has all the while maintained its stance that the abrogation of article 370 is an internal matter while any other disputes regarding Kashmir will be solved bilaterally. His allies China and US too have maintained the same.