Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the issue of occupied Kashmir was a major impediment to trade cooperation between Pakistan and India, reported Radio Pakistan.
The premier made the remarks in an interview aired by Belgian channel VRT.
"Indian forces have turned the entire valley of occupied Kashmir into a jail," PM Imran told the Belgian channel, noting that New Delhi was denying the people of Kashmir their legitimate right to self-determination in line with the resolutions of the United Nations.
"India is even going against the promises made by past Indian leaders in this regard," he said.
"I do not see much hope from the current Modi government in India [with regards to resolving the Kashmir issue], because he [Narendra Modi] has an extremist ideology [taken from] the RSS," the premier regretted. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an extreme right-wing Indian group.
PM Imran noted that the founding fathers of the RSS were inspired by the racist philosophy propagated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. He said this philosophy is the reason why Delhi has put eight million Kashmiris, the vast majority of whom are Muslims, in an open prison.
While critical of the incumbent Indian government, the prime minister expressed hope that in the future, an Indian government with a stronger desire for peace would want the occupied Kashmir dispute to be resolved so that the people of the sub-continent can prosper.
In addition to highlighting the plight of the people of occupied Kashmir, PM Imran also spoke about the economic situation of Pakistan.
"The last year was very difficult for the government, but the current account deficit has now been brought down by 75 per cent in one year," he outlined.
PM Imran further added that the economy of Pakistan was showing signs of recovery, and that things would get better this year. He also spoke about the tourist potential of Pakistan, and the diversity of tourist sites the country offered, as well as climate change and governance issues.