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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Imran Khan’s shrill pitch over Kashmir at UNGA, talks of nuke war

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has in recent days acknowledged that he hadn’t received the kind of a response to his pitch about human rights violations in Kashmir, held out the threat of a nuclear war more than once during his speech to nudge countries to support him.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2019 07:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pakistan PM Imran Khan addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. (Reuters photo)
         

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had vowed to raise Kashmir at the United Nations General Assembly, on Friday stuck to the script and claimed there would be a large-scale violence in Kashmir and held out the threat of war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Imran Khan suggested that nuclear-armed Pakistan may not have much of a choice if a conventional war were to break out between Pakistan and India which he described as a country seven-times” its size. “What choice would I have… I will fight,” he said. This isn’t the first time that Imran Khan has held out this warning; the belligerent stand is seen as part of Pakistan’s strategy to nudge the world pressurise India.

Khan, who has in recent days acknowledged that he hadn’t received the kind of a response to his pitch about human rights violations in Kashmir, held out the threat of a nuclear war more than once during his speech to nudge countries to support him.

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“There will be consequences” beyond the borders of the two countries, he said, wrapping up his address that painted a grim picture for Kashmir, the two countries and the world if the UN didn’t intervene to force India’s hand.

India’s response to Khan’s speech, which breached the 15-minute time limit three times over, would come well past midnight or early morning.

Khan insisted that he had dismantled the remnants of the terrorist infrastructure from the Afghanistan war after assuming power and invited the world leaders to visit his country to check out for themselves. He didn’t elaborate how this inspection could be effectively carried out.

Referring to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh statement that there were inputs about 500 terrorists waiting to cross over, Khan also rejected the Indian charge that terror groups on its side were prepping to infiltrate into India.

“Why would Pakistan send 500 terrorists to India, when there are 900,000 troops there,” Khan asked to cheers from members of his delegation. It makes no sense, he said.

The troops, he said, hadn’t come for the sake of the Kashmiri people, Muslims.

“There are 900,000 troops there, they haven’t come to, as Narendra Modi says -- for the prosperity of Kashmir... These 900,000 troops, what are they going to do? When they come out? There will be a bloodbath,” he said.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 22:16 IST

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