LAHORE - Peace is the only option available to the two nuclear armed neighbours but goals of permanent peace in the region cannot be achieved without resolving the Kashmir issue, said PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Talking to newsmen at Allama Iqbal International Airport on his return from India yesterday, Khan said, “Pakistan and India are two nuclear armed neighbours and they don’t have any option at hand but to settle their disputes in a peaceful manner. However, the goals of enduring peace cannot be achieved without settling the key and core issue of Kashmir.”

“Peace between the two neighbours is vital for poverty alleviation on both sides of the international border. Western powers are the main hurdle in the peace process between Pakistan and India,” he added.

“The minorities are not in good shape in India and the way New Delhi deals with minorities also impacts the minorities living in Pakistan,” observed PTI chairman.

“For increasing people-to-people contacts, cricket should be resumed between the two countries besides opening routes for trade as initial steps of normalisation of relations,” suggested Mr Khan.

He also underlined the need for increasing trade ties with China to counter the menace of poverty saying Beijing had brought 400 million people out of the poverty through trade.

Replying to a query on accountability of the corrupt, Mr Khan said, “It is unfortunate that all the corrupt join hands in the name of democracy whenever there is a drive underway to purge the country of corrupt and criminals.”

Later, PTI chairman took part in the protest of PIA employees against the privatisation of the organisation at the airport.

He ensured the protesting PIA employees for his party’s support and raising the issue in the parliament what he called opaque process of country’s one of the largest organisations.