He also noted that cooperation between the two countries on issues like energy and food security was important and both could possibly have a joint civil-nuclear cooperation if his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, comes to power.
    
Reacting to a question on Sharif's recent statement that a fourth war between India and Pakistan is a possibility on the issue of Kashmir, Khan said "I don’t think even Nawaz Sharif believes that because the two nations with nuclear weapons do not go to war."

He maintained Kashmir still remains the "core issue" of dispute between the two countries and once that problem is solved all other problems would be solved.
    
Khan claimed both the countries had almost finalized the details of a deal on Kashmir that could have possibly put an end to the problem in 2008 but the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai derailed the talks.
    
The cricketer-turned-politician, who now heads Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a political party, was speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here during a seminar on 'India and Pakistan: Working Out'.

He added both the countries needed to cooperate on major issues like food and energy security.

"For India, if it has to achieve growth of 9 to 10 percent, you need energy and from where will you get energy? All the corridors, it may be oil from Iran or gas from the Caspian Sea, have to pass through Pakistan.  We are facing a major problem of food security, so we can have cooperation on this. Plus, there are major issues like water security on which both the countries require greater cooperation," Khan said.
    
He said that if his party came to power, it will undertake two major programmes, try to bridge the mistrust and ask for a joint civil-nuclear cooperation managed and operated by the two countries on its borders.
    
Secondly, as a confidence-building measure his government will look to free prisoners trapped in Pakistani jail, who were arrested for either straying in Pakistani waters or for accidentally crossing the border.

Asked about the hold of ISI and terrorists in Pakistan, Khan said jihadi elements in his country were encouraged during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and at that time the then US President had compared them to the founding fathers of America.

He said more than 1.5 lakh Pakistani troops are fighting the Taliban in the tribal area of Waziristan and there was consensus in Pakistani society on the strategy to tackle terrorists.
    
Describing the deployment of the Pakistan Army in tribal areas as a big mistake, Khan said this was one of the main reasons for the growth of Taliban in that belt.
    
He said that there was consensus in Pakistan on a dialogue with groups in the tribal areas to resolve the issue. At a recent all-parties meeting attended by the Pakistan Army and ISI chiefs, everyone agreed on this issue, Khan said.
    
He also raised the issue of alleged pollution of the Siachen glacier by Indian troops and said in view of the water crisis, the two countries should sit together and talk to resolve the matter.

(Agencies)

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