Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the international community to deal with the grave crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir sparked off by New Delhi’s “illegal” annexation of the disputed state, warning of a possible military confrontation between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan amid escalating tensions in the region.
“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,” he wrote in an opinion piece in the The New York Times.
Titled “The world can’t ignore Kashmir. We are all in danger,” was published on Friday, coinciding with Pakistan government’s call to observe Kashmir Hour across the country to show solidarity with Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir, whose rights were stripped by the Indian government earlier this month.
The prime minister denounced India’s abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, which had accorded a special status to Jammu & Kashmir. “The move is illegal under the Constitution of India, but more importantly, it is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.”
Occupied Kashmir is under lockdown since August 5. “Thousands of Kashmiris have been arrested and thrown into prisons across India. A blood bath is feared in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted. Already, Kashmiris coming out in defiance of the curfew are being shot and killed,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
At the outset, Imran Khan enumerated the steps he had taken after his election as prime minister a year go seeking dialogue for normalization of India-Pakistan relations, but said his efforts for peace were “rebuffed” by New Delhi. He also narrated the events leading to the current situation, which has taken a dangerous turn.
“With the nuclear shadow hovering over South Asia,” he said, “We realize that Pakistan and India have to move out of a zero-sum mind-set to begin dialogue on Kashmir, various strategic matters and trade”.
“On Kashmir, the dialogue must include all stakeholders, especially the Kashmiris. We have already prepared multiple options that can be worked on while honouring the right to self-determination the Kashmiris were promised by the Security Council resolutions and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru,” the prime minister wrote.