Pakistan PM Imran Khan warns of ‘direct military confrontation’ with India if world ignores Kashmir

In an op-ed article for The New York Times, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that a “direct military confrontation” with India “will get ever closer” if the world ignores the Kashmir issue.

In the NYT op-ed, Khan wrote: “If the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get ever closer to a direct military confrontation”.

Stating that a nuclear shadow is hovering over South Asia, Khan said India and Pakistan have to “move out of a zero-sum mindset to begin a dialogue on Kashmir.”

Khan has been ratcheting up his attack on India ever since the Narendra Modi-led government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status enjoyed under Article 370. Calling India’s move on Kashmir as “illegal”, Khan said it was a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.

In the NYT article, Khan said the Indian government has “rebuffed” all his efforts towards peace. He said he wanted to “normalize relations with India through trade and by settling the Kashmir dispute, the foremost impediment to the normalization of relations between us.”

He explained how after winning elections, he wanted peace with India and cited his first televised address to Pakistan in this regard. Khan further said the Indian government “promptly blamed Pakistan” over the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.

“Indian had been lobbying to get Pakistan placed on the blacklist at the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, which could lead to severe economic sanctions and push us toward bankruptcy,” he said in his NYT article.

In his piece, Khan also trained his guns on RSS and said “New India” is governed by leaders and a party that are the products of the “Hindu supremacist mother ship”. He said that the RSS took inspiration from the likes of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Yesterday, in a series of tweets, Khan had used words like “fascist” and “ethnic cleansing”, while giving a call to Pakistanis to come out and express solidarity with the people of Kashmir on Friday.

In his address to Pakistan on Monday, Khan had said he will raise the Kashmir issue at every international forum, including during his address at the UN General Assembly in New York next month. Pakistan also test-fired surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Ghaznavi’ on Thursday, amid fresh Indo-Pak tensions after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs yesterday condemned the recent remarks made by Pakistani leadership on India’s internal matters, saying “the provocative statements include call for jihad and inciting violence in India.”

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