Posted by New Delhi Times Bureau
September 23, 2019
In a no-holds-barred interview with Al Jazeera Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed Pakistan’s limited options on Kashmir and urged the international community to play their role. He warned that the flashpoint between India and Pakistan could turn into a nuclear war to impact the entire world. “There is not much we can do except approach all international organisations that were set up after the first World War — mainly the United Nations,” he said, adding that Pakistan is approaching the US, China, Russia, and the European countries over Kashmir.
Pakistan is peeved with the lukewarm global response after India’s revocation of Kashmir’s autonomous status. “Unfortunately, because of this whole thing about big markets, [some] countries look at big markets, they look upon India as a market of one billion people,” Imran bemoaned, conveniently forgetting that Pakistan soft-pedals prosecution of Uyghur Muslims in China for exactly the same reasons.
Imran shared Foreign Minister Qureshi’s concerns about an accidental war and alleged falsely that “India is more or less conducting a genocide” likening it to Nazi Germany. Alleging that “eight million Muslims in Kashmir are under siege for almost six weeks” he threatened “this can become a flash point between India and Pakistan”.
Stating Pakistan’s policy on the first use of nuclear weapons he said that Pakistan would never start a war but when two nuclear-armed countries fight a conventional war there is every possibility to end up in a nuclear war. He warned that in a conventional war, “Pakistanis will fight to the death for their freedom”. “When a nuclear armed country fights to the death, it has consequences,” he said.
Pakistan has so far approached the United Nations and every international forum and is preparing to address the United Nations General Assembly in late September. Its assertion will not be climate change or Islamophobia, but Kashmir.
On dialogue with India, he said that Kashmir was the only issue that must be resolved through a political settlement. He surmised that Pakistan overtures were misinterpreted as appeasement and complained that India was trying to push Pakistan from “grey list” into the “black list” of the FATF to slap sanctions for eventual bankruptcy. Blaming India of pursuing an agenda against Pakistan, Imran said there is no question of talking to the Indian government right now especially after revocation of Article 370 against the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions.
Imran thanked Trump for his repeated offers to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi over Kashmir. He hoped that serious intervention by the President of the most powerful country in the world can guarantee some sort of resolution. Even without direct intervention, the US has requisite clout to influence the UNSC, he said. About the treatment of the Chinese government towards the indigenous Uighurs Muslims population, he groped for answers. He had no comments to make on Uighurs, except stating, “For us China has been the best friend.”
Imran is fast losing steam, wasting everyone’s time by creating a “nuclear war and end of the world” scenario. The world does not buy such narrative anymore. Such irresponsible statement could damage Pakistan’s credibility. Forget nuclear war, can Pakistan afford a limited conflict like Kargil war? Imran is desperately searching a way out from this mess to keep local people’s focus away from the real issues. Imran Khan is absolutely irresponsible, full of lies, hollow nonsense and bravado to fool Pakistanis, nothing else. He is clueless about challenges facing the nation. He has gone above and beyond to follow the old Kashmir policy. Imran Khan speaks about improving the lives of Kashmiris and nuclear war almost in the same breath. Such black-mailing will be counterproductive as the world is aware of these old tactics.
Its time Imran focuses on the issues within Pakistan. Best way for Pakistan is to educate Pakistani society to modern age, empower women, downscale religious fundamentalism, shun radical thinking, avoid imposing some people’s ideology on others, and extricate terrorism from roots. Imran must strive sincerely to fix Pakistan nation first.