Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday promised to take up the Kashmir matter in all international forums, PTI reported. His comments, made on Pakistan’s Independence Day, came a week after India revoked the state’s autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution.
Khan was speaking in Muzaffarabad, the capital of the so-called Azad Kashmir in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where he addressed the local legislature. He also claimed that international organisations that have been silent on the matter will be responsible if a war breaks out between India and Pakistan. “Our message to international organisations that were formed to prevent wars is that if this war takes place, you will be responsible,” Khan added.
Khan said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “committed a strategic blunder, he has played his last card” and that the action will cost him and the BJP a lot as they “internationalised the issue of Kashmir”.
“The world’s eye is on Kashmir and on Pakistan,” Khan said. “Whatever was done during the curfew by India, we will tell the international community that you are responsible. Whichever forum we get, I will be the ambassador and bring up Kashmir at every forum.”
Khan claimed that Pakistan has information that India was planning something “more dangerous than post-Pulwama” to deflect focus from Kashmir. “My message to Modi is that you take action and we will give a matching response,” he said. “Every brick will be countered with a stone,” Khan said. “We will respond to whatever you do, we will go till the end...If you are thinking to teach us lesson, then listen carefully time has come that we will teach you a lesson.”
Earlier in the day, Khan said that he was “saddened” by the plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who he claimed were “victims of Indian oppression”, Reuters reported. “Independence Day is an opportunity for great happiness, but today we are saddened by the plight of our Kashmiri brothers in occupied Jammu and Kashmir who are victims of Indian oppression,” Khan said in a statement. “I assure my Kashmiri brothers that we stand with them.”
In Islamabad, posters urged residents to express solidarity with Kashmiris and roadside vendors sold Azad Kashmir flags as well as the Pakistan flag commonly displayed on August 14.
The Pakistan government has said it will observe India’s Independence Day, which falls on August 15, as a “Black Day” and flags on government buildings will be flown at half mast to protest against India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir.
On Tuesday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that he had written a letter to United Nations Security Council President Joanna Wronecka asking for an emergency meeting of the council to discuss India’s “illegal” actions in Jammu and Kashmir. Qureshi also called for the circulation of his letter among members of the Security Council. He said Pakistan believed that India’s unilateral actions not only threatened regional, but also world peace.
India has repeatedly described the developments in Jammu and Kashmir as its internal matter. Since last week, Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India over Kashmir, has downgraded diplomatic ties, suspended trade relations, and halted transport services such as the Samjhauta and Thar Express train services between the two countries, and a bus service between New Delhi and Lahore.
On August 11, Khan had claimed that the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, to which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is affiliated, was similar to that of Nazis.