War of nuclear nations could impact world: Imran Khan

Khan also renewed his attack on India and said there was no question of talking to the neighbour at this point, especially after New Delhi’s move to nullify Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir.
Islamabad | By Imtiaz Ahmad
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2019 11:52 PM IST

When two nuclear-armed countries fight a conventional war, there is every possibility that it could escalate into a nuclear war and impact the entire world, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said, ratcheting up the rhetoric in the wake of spiralling tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad following India’s move to withdraw special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“So that’s why we have approached the United Nations, we are approaching every international forum, that they must act right now,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera TV, urging the international community to play a role in resolving the Kashmir issue.

Khan also renewed his attack on India and said there was no question of talking to the neighbour at this point, especially after New Delhi’s move to nullify Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking about the country’s policy on nuclear weapons, Khan said, “...Pakistan would never start a war and I am clear [about this]. I am a pacifist, I am anti-war but what I said clearly was that when two nuclear-armed countries fight — if they fight a conventional war — there is every possibility to end up in a nuclear war.”

He stressed that if a conventional war were to be fought, “Pakistanis will fight to the death for their freedom”.

When asked about his position on dialogue with India, Khan said: “From the time I assumed office — and that was last August — we have made repeated attempts to hold a dialogue with India, for us to live like civilised neighbours, to resolve our differences.”

But Pakistan discovered that all the while it was trying to establish a dialogue, India was trying to “push us in the black list of the FATF [Financial Action Task Force]”, he said.

“We are on the grey list. If Pakistan is pushed into the blacklist that means that there will be sanctions. So they were trying to bankrupt us. That is when we pulled back and that is when we realised that this comes under an agenda.”

Talking about US President Donald Trump’s repeated offers to play a role for dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi over Kashmir, he said, “We are thankful to US President Trump because he is the president of the most powerful country in the world and if the president of the US intervenes in this — and seriously intervenes — it is one way that you can guarantee some sort of resolution.”

Speaking about what his address at the United Nations General Assembly later this month would focus on, Khan said, “Under normal circumstances, I would have talked about climate change...But because of what is happening in Kashmir, I would be mainly talking about the Kashmir situation.”

Khan expressed disappointment over the global response after India’s move to withdraw Kashmir’s special status, and said, “Unfortunately, because of this whole thing about big markets, [some] countries look at big markets, they look upon India as a market of one billion people, they don’t realise that if they do not intervene right now, it will have consequences for not only the subcontinent but the world’s trade — everyone will be affected by this.”

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