Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday lashed out at India for its decision to revoke the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir and for imposing a lockdown in the region. Khan, in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, said that the world body must urge India to lift prohibitory orders in Kashmir, and insist on the region’s right to self-determination.
“Don’t you think that 180 million Muslims will be radicalised in India as they see 8 million Kashmiris locked up?” Khan asked the delegates. “And what about 1.3 billion Muslims who are watching this knowing that this is only happening to Kashmiri Muslims?”
“How would the Jewish community react if even 8,000 Jews were under lockdown?” Khan wondered. “How would the Europeans react? How would any human community react? Are we children of a lesser God? Don’t you know this causes us pain?”
The Pakistan prime minister asked if the international community had responded to atrocities committed anywhere in the Muslim world. “I picture myself in Kashmir, locked up for 50 days,” Khan said. “Hearing about rapes, the Indian Army going around...Would I live with this humiliation? You are forcing people towards radicalisation.”
Khan said that when people lose the will to live, they pick up guns. “If you are doing this to human beings, pushing them, you are leading to radicalisation,” Khan told India.
He predicted that India will again blame Pakistan if a Pulwama-type attack were to take place. At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel had died in an attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14. Terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Two nuclear armed nations almost went head to head in February,” Khan asserted, referring to the skirmish between Indian and Pakistani jets on February 27, a day after Indian Air Forces planes attacked Balakot in Pakistan, destroying a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp. “And this is why the UN has a responsibility. This is why you came into being in 1945.”
Implying a comparison between the Narendra Modi-led government in India and the Nazi Party government under Adolf Hitler in Germany in the 1930s, Khan said: “I feel we are back in 1939; Munich. Czechoslovakia has been taken. Will the word community appease a fascist or will it stand up for justice and humanity? If a conventional war starts between two countries – nuclear countries – anything could happen.”
Khan said Pakistan is seven times smaller than India, and in the event of war, it either has to surrender or fight to the last. The Pakistan prime minister said in that case, Islamabad would choose to fight.
However, Khan denied he was threatening nuclear war. “You are the one who said Kashmir has the right to self determination,” Khan told the UN. “This is not the time for appeasement like that in 1939 in Munich.”
“This is the time when you, the United Nations, must urge India to lift the curfew; to free the 13,000 Kashmiris who have disappeared meanwhile and this is the time when the UN must insist on Kashmir’s right to self determination,” Khan asserted.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the world must unite to fight the scourge of terrorism. He highlighted his government’s achievements during its five years in power, but made no mention of Pakistan.
Pakistan had reacted to India’s decision to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir by suspending trade, downgrading diplomatic ties and writing letters to the United Nations.
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