ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the Kashmir dispute, which holds the 1.4 billion people of South Asia hostage, could be settled if the United States showed a ‘resolve and will’. “This festering can ease if the US has the resolve and will. This can be sorted out,” he said in an interview with Jonathan Swan of ‘Axios on HBO’ aired on Monday. The ‘Kashmir dispute’ was put on top agenda by the prime minister as the interviewer asked him about the priorities of discussion when he meets US President Joe Biden in future. Imran Khan said, “Almost 1.4 billion people in the Sub-continent are held hostage with one dispute of Kashmir”, and the United States being a powerful nation of the world had a big responsibility in that regard. The Kashmir dispute, he said, needed a settlement as per the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council that called for a plebiscite to let the Kashmiris decide about their own future. Asked about Pakistan’s “growing nuclear capability”, he said Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was “simply for its own defence” in the scenario of a country seven times of its size. He expressed the belief that the resolution of the Kashmir issue would lead the two countries towards peace. “The moment there is a settlement on Kashmir, I believe Pakistan and India will live as civilized neighbours without nuclear deterrence,” he said. On the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, he stressed that there must be a prior “political settlement” as military solution was not the viable option. He hinted at the possibility of a civil war if the US troops pulled out without a political settlement, which, he explained, as the “coalition government with Taliban and others as stakeholders”. Asked whether Pakistan would like to welcome the Taliban into the comity of nations, he said, “As far as Pakistan is concerned, whoever is representing the people of Afghanistan, we would deal with them. ” Imran Khan categorically said that Pakistan would “absolutely not” allow any bases and use of its territory for any sort of action inside Afghanistan. “Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not,” he said, in response to the question if he would allow the American government to have CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) conduct counter-terrorism missions in Pakistan against Al-Qaeda, ISIS or the Taliban. “We will be partners in peace, not in conflict,” he said.