“Let Kashmiris live their own way”; says Amir Khan after visiting LoC

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ISLAMABAD: Former unified light-welterweight world champion, Amir Khan, has said that India should leave Kashmiris alone and let them live their life their way. The boxer is currently in Pakistan and visited the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir into two parts each administratively controlled by Pakistan and India respectively, on Tuesday on a trip arranged by the Pakistan army.
“Everybody would want India to leave them [Kashmiris] alone and let them live their life,” he said in an exclusive interview to Saima Shabir for Arab News. Khan said that he visited the LoC with the objective of drawing international attention to the misery of the Kashmiri people who have been living under a security lockdown in Indian Administered Kashmir since August 5 and suffering on Pakistani side of Kashmir owing to India’s cease-fire violations. “It’s a tough time through which Kashmiris are passing. We should all support them,” he said. 

The internationally acclaimed boxer lauded the resilience shown by Kashmiri people living on the Pakistani side of the border in the face of “continuous crossfire” at the LoC.

“Literally one kilometer out there (on the Pakistani side), people were out, they were shopping and living a normal life. Their kids were going to schools and everything seemed normal. But near the border, the security was very tight,” he added.

He said that during his LoC visit, he had been just around 40 meters away from an Indian bunker and could see Indian army soldiers carrying weapons across the border. 

“I did feel a little bit unsafe there but I went to the areas to see everything. I wanted to meet the people who were injured and are in hospital,” Khan said. 

Asked if he would like to visit Indian-administered Kashmir, Khan said he wouldn’t given the conflict and chaos there. “To be honest I would not like to go to Indian side of Kashmir as I have kids and family so I don’t want to put my life at risk by going there,” the boxer said. “The reason I don’t want to go there as there are a lot of killing going on there. The whole area and cities are closed down there.” 

Amir Khan urged the prime ministers of Pakistan and India to “sit together” with the people of Kashmir and resolve the crisis over the disputed region in a manner that there was no more bloodshed.

 “I think both prime ministers of Pakistan and India along with Kashmiris should sit down together and resolve this

[conflict]

in a way that there is not going to be any killings,” Khan told Arab News in an interview. “There should not be any more killings there [Indian-administered Kashmir) … I feel the best way to do it is by sitting down and speaking about it [the conflict] to resolve the situation.”

He also urged the world community and the United Nations to intervene to resolve the Kashmir conflict.