Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday termed India’s move to revoke Article 370 as “illegal” and one which would “destroy regional peace and security”.
His reaction came after the Indian government earlier in the day decided to revoke Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one.
The cricketer-turned-politician termed changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir as a “violation of UN resolutions”.
“India’s move will further deteriorate relations between nuclear-capable neighbours,” he said.
The official Twitter handle of President Arif Alvi said: “India’s attempt to further change status of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir is against the resolutions of UNSC and against wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
“Pakistan supports and insists on a peaceful resolution based on wishes of Kashmiri people and stands with them in their hour of need,” he said in another tweet.
Earlier, a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office said: “The Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally-recognised disputed territory.”
It said that “no unilateral step” by the Indian government can “change the disputed status” according to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
“Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan.”
It said that as party to this international dispute, “Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”
“Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination,” it said.
Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination – Statement of Pakistan’s Foreign Office
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Islamabad will highlight its stand with the US and international community over the issue.
“Pakistan condemns and rejects announcements made today by the Indian government regarding Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” he tweeted.
“We intend to firmly highlight our stance in our meetings with the US delegation visiting Pakistan and with the international community at large,” he said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif also condemned India’s move, declaring it “unacceptable” and an “act of treason” against the UN.
Calling for an emergency meeting of the parliamentary leaders, Sharif said: “This is a matter of Pakistan’s national interest and the entire nation is united on this front.”
Condemning India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted: “Atrocities in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) unabated. Extremist Indian govt’s intentions clear. President must immediately summon Joint session of Parliament in wake of Indian aggression in IoK.”
Imran Khan warns of another Pulwama
‘What will happen? They will attack us and we will respond .. the war can go both ways’
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has reacted sharply to the Monday’s developments in Jammu and Kashmir insisting that with an approach like this, “incidents like Pulwama are bound to happen again”, the Dawn reported.
“I can already predict this will happen. They will attempt to place the blame on us again. They may strike us again, and we will strike back,” Khan told his country’s Parliament on Tuesday.
“What will happen then? They will attack us and we will respond and the war can go both ways… But if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world. This is not nuclear blackmail,” he added.
Addressing a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday to discuss the country’s future course of action in the wake of India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its Constitution, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, Khan said that his government’s priority was to improve relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbours because it was vital to improve the country’s economic situation.
“When we took up government, our main priority was to address poverty in our country. We reached out to all our neighbours, because without having a semblance of normalcy in ties, we cannot attain stability and alleviate poverty.
I can already predict this will happen. They will attempt to place the blame on us again. They may strike us again, and we will strike back
– Imran Khan
“All my trips to neighbouring countries were meant for this purpose. I visited Afghanistan, and asked them that we work to address our past differences. I talked to India, telling them if you take one step towards us, we will come two step towards you. I went to Iran (with similar aims) and I visited America.
“When I first reached out to India, they expressed concerns that there were militant outfits operating from Pakistan. I told (Narendra) Modi that after the grave and painful tragedy of the Army Public School massacre, all our political parties had resolved to never let the territory of Pakistan be used for terrorist activities. But I got the feeling that the Indian side was not serious about talks. When we went to Bishkek, my suspicions regarding their unwillingness to speak was strengthened.”
According to the newspaper, the Pakistan Premier said: “I soon realised that India was not interested in talking to us. They took our overtures for peace as weakness, so we stopped extending offers to hold talks.
“Then Pulwama happened. Thank God our Air Force responded in the way it did. We shot down their pilot, but returned him immediately to send the message that we did not want war. We resolved that we would not move forward on talks over Kashmir till after the (Indian) elections. The elections happened.
“What happened yesterday has only confirmed my suspicion (about India’s unwillingness to talk). This is not a decision they (the BJP) have taken out of the blue. It was part of their election manifesto all along. It is, in fact, ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.”
“What they did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology,” he declared.
“They have violated their own country’s and international laws to (uphold) their ideology. “They will now crack down even harder on the Kashmiri people. They will try to suppress the Kashmiri resistance with brute force. I fear that they may initiate ethnic cleansing in Kashmir to wipe out the local population.
“With an approach of this nature, incidents like Pulwama are bound to happen again. I can already predict this will happen. They will attempt to place the blame on us again. They may strike us again, and we will strike back.
“What will happen then? They will attack us and we will respond and the war can go both ways… But if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world. This is not nuclear blackmail.
“We want the global leadership to take note. My party and I are taking the responsibility to approach the leaders of the world and apprise them of what is happening in Kashmir. I know the Western world, and I feel like they are not sufficiently aware of what is happening in Kashmir. I will inform them that what the Indian government is doing in Kashmir and what it is doing to Muslims and minorities in India goes against everything the Western world believes in,” he said.
The joint session of upper and lower houses was summoned by President Arif Alvi to decide Pakistan’s future course of action in the wake of India’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status under Article 370, the paper reported.
But the session was disrupted soon after due to protest from opposition lawmakers who pointed out that the resolution, moved by Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati condemning India’s “illegal actions” in Kashmir, did not specifically mention Article 370 of the Indian constitution.