J&K move can trigger Pulwama-like incidents: Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Islamabad Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir could lead to “Pulwama-like incidents”, even trigger a conventional war between India and Pakistan.
Khan’s remarks during a special joint session of Parliament that was convened to discuss the situation in Kashmir came hours after Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa said his force would “go to any extent” to support the Kashmiri people.
The premier accused India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of having a “racist ideology” and said the move to change the status of Kashmir would have wide-ranging repercussions. He referred to the risk of a possible conflict between two nuclear-armed nations and said it would have implications for the world.
“They changed the law and annexed Kashmir. The question is whether the Kashmiri people...will decide their struggle has ended. The struggle will become stronger and go to another level,” Khan said, speaking in Urdu.
“When they crush (the Kashmiris), there could be a Pulwama-like incident, I predict it today. Then (India) will say terrorism came from Pakistan while everyone knows Pakistan had nothing to do with Pulwama,” he said, referring to the February 14 bombing by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attacker that killed 40 Indian troops and triggered a stand-off between the two countries.
“In the event of any Pulwama-like incident, they will take action and we will respond...It can’t happen that if they attack Pakistan, we won’t respond to it. We will respond...There could be a conventional war,” he added.
Pakistan, Khan said, would then have two options – to accept defeat or fight till the last drop of blood. “If we fight till the last drop, what kind of war will it be? It will be a war no one can win, everyone will lose, it will have implications for the world,” he said.
Khan accused the Indian government of going against the country’s Constitution, UN Security Council resolutions and the Simla Agreement.
Late on Tuesday, Khan created a seven-member team, including the foreign minister, ISI chief and director general of military operations, to make recommendations for Pakistan’s legal and diplomatic response to the developments in Kashmir.
He said he had asked US President Donald Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spurned several peace overtures from Pakistan.
Earlier, a Corps Commanders Conference chaired by the army chief, Gen Qamar Bajwa, at the General Headquaters in Rawalpindi rejected India’s decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir.
“Forum fully supported Government’s rejection of Indian actions regarding Kashmir. Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of Jammu & Kashmir through article 370 or 35-A decades ago; ....efforts which have now been revoked by India itself,” chief military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
“Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations in this regard,” Bajwa was quoted as saying by Ghafoor in a tweet.