The remark was made as part of an interview he had with Ines Pohl of the German DW news service

Islamabad: As the communication lockdown on the Indian side of Kashmir enters fifth month Prime minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is ready for a referendum on its side of Kashmir to allow people decide about their own political destiny.

Imran Khan reiterated that his country is ready to hold a referendum in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to give people the right to decide whether they want to remain with Pakistan or be independent.

In an interview to Deutsche Welle, Khan said the “best thing” would be to let the people decide through a referendum or a plebiscite.

“The best thing is (to) let the people of Kashmir decide. The people of Pakistan Kashmir and the Indian Kashmir. Pakistan is all ready to give them the right through a referendum or a plebiscite. Let them decide whether they want to remain with Pakistan or want to be independent. We’re all for it,” he told DW’s Editor-in-Chief Ines Pohl in Islamabad.

When asked about the human rights situation in Pakistani Kashmir, Khan said Pakistan was open to allowing people from anywhere in the world to visit. “We invite anyone, anywhere in the world to come see the Pakistan side of Kashmir and then go see the Indian side of Kashmir. Let them see the difference… they will not be allowed to go to the Indian side of Kashmir,” he said.

Asked if he thinks the international community is paying little attention to the Kashmir conflict, Imran said: “Sadly, yes”, considering the media attention the protests in Hong Kong are getting.

The silence of world on Kashmir is due to commercial interests because India is a big market, he said. In the strategic Western mind, India is supposed to be a counterbalance to China. “Therefore, you see a completely different approach…,” he added.