Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again said that a nuclear war with India was a possibility, and accused New Delhi of attempting to divert attention from its “illegal annexation” of Kashmir and an “impending genocide” thereby blaming Pakistan for terrorism, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday.
“Eight million Muslims in Kashmir are under siege for almost now six weeks,” Khan told the news channel. “And why this can become a flashpoint between India and Pakistan is because what we already know India is trying to do is divert attention from their illegal annexation and their impending genocide on Kashmir.”
The prime minister said he would never start a war, and added that he was a pacifist and believed that “wars do not solve any problems”.
He warned there was a possibility of a nuclear war between the two countries. “When two nuclear-armed countries fight, if they fight a conventional war, there is every possibility that it is going to end up into nuclear war,” he added. “The unthinkable.”
Khan said his government had approached the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international forums on the matter as the fallout of a potential disaster would be felt by countries beyond the Indian subcontinent.
“If say Pakistan, God forbid, we are fighting a conventional war, we are losing, and if a country is stuck between the choice: either you surrender or you fight until death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom,” Khan told Al Jazeera. “So when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, to the death, it has consequences.”
Khan claimed his government had made attempts to restart dialogue with India “to live as civilised neighbours, to resolve our difference [over Kashmir]...through a political settlement”. He claimed that instead of responding to the overtures for peace, India tried “to push us in the blacklist in FATF [Financial Action Task Force]”.
“There is no question of talking to the Indian government right now after they revoked this Article 370 of their own Constitution and they annexed Kashmir illegally against the UN Security Council resolution which had guaranteed the people that they would be able to hold a referendum, a plebiscite, to decide their destiny,” the prime minister of Pakistan added.
Last month, Khan had warned the international community about an imminent military escalation between the two nuclear powers if the world does not intervene. In the op-ed article published in The New York Times, Khan had said he wanted to normalise relations with India, and called for dialogue on the Kashmir dispute.
At a rally in the city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last week, Khan called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a coward for allowing alleged atrocities against Kashmiris, and said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was walking the “same path as Hitler’s Nazi party”.
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