Imran Khan warns of possibility of conventional war with India.
New Delhi: India on Sunday conveyed its concerns to Pakistan on ceasefire violations by the Pakistani military, with the MEA saying Islamabad this year “resorted to more than 2050 unprovoked ceasefire violations in which 21 Indians have died”.
In a statement, the MEA said, “We have highlighted our concerns at unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces, including in support of cross border terrorist infiltration, and targeting of Indian civilians and border posts by them. This year they have resorted to more than 2,050 unprovoked ceasefire violations in which 21 Indians have died. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to ask its forces to adhere to 2003 ceasefire understanding and maintain peace and tranquillity along the LoC and International Border (IB). Indian forces exercise maximum restraint and respond to unprovoked violations and attempts at cross border terrorist infiltration.”
Tensions have further spiked between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, with Pakistan mounting a shrill campaign against New Delhi globally after India bifurcated its J&K state and revoked Article 370 early last month.
Government sources said Pakistan appears to be banking on a two-pronged strategy to continue to raise the decibel levels of its campaign at global fora besides trying its best to push in terrorists across the LoC to attack Indian troops and to attempt to carry out terror strikes to draw global attention and grab publicity.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said there was no question of talking to New Delhi after it revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, as he warned about the possibility of a conventional war with India which could go beyond the subcontinent.
“So that’s why we have approached the United Nations, we are approaching every international forum, that they must act right now,” he said.
Mr Khan said he “absolutely” believes war with India could be a possibility. “...This is a potential disaster that would go way beyond the Indian subcontinent,” Mr Khan said. He said that Pakistan would never start a war.
“I am a pacifist, I am anti-war, I believe that wars do not solve any problems,” he told Al Jazeera.
“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. “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 ‘till death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom,” he said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian high commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
Mr Khan claimed that Pakistan till recently had made attempts to open dialogue with India “to live as civilised neighbours, to resolve our difference (over Kashmir) ... Through a political settlement”. He alleged that India tried to 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,” says Mr 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,” Mr Khan said.