There is “every possibility” that India and Pakistan could end up fighting a nuclear war over Kashmir — “a potential disaster that would go way beyond the Indian subcontinent”, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an interview to Al Jazeera.
Warning that a nuclear-armed country fighting to the death has consequences, Khan said: “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 ’til death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom.”
Reiterating his earlier claim that Pakistan would never “start” a war with India, Khan added, “I am clear: I am a pacifist, I am anti-war, I believe that wars do not solve any problems,” however adding, “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. The unthinkable.”
He said it was high time that the United Nations should act to avoid such a disaster. “So that’s why we have approached the United Nations, we are approaching every international forum, that they must act right now because this is a potential disaster that would go way beyond the Indian subcontinent,” Khan was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying.
He also accused India of allegedly trying to divert attention from their “illegal annexation and their impending genocide on Kashmir” by “blaming Pakistan for terrorism”.
“Eight million Muslims in Kashmir are under siege for almost now six weeks. 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. They are taking the attention away by blaming Pakistan for terrorism,” he told Al Jazeera.
According to him, Pakistan was, until recently, making attempts to open dialogue with India to resolve differences over the Kashmir issue, but pulled back after learning that New Delhi was trying to blacklist them in Financial Action Task Force.
“We discovered that while we were trying to have dialogue, they were trying to push us in the blacklist in FATF [Financial Action Task Force] … If Pakistan is pushed into the blacklist of FATF that means there will be sanctions on Pakistan. So they were trying to bankrupt us economically, so that’s when we pulled back. And that’s when we realised that this government is on an agenda … to push Pakistan to disaster,” said Khan.
“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,” he added.