Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that while war was not a choice Islamabad would willingly make, Pakistan was ready to retaliate if it is imposed.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Chaudhry said that Pakistan had made all efforts to take relations with India towards normalisation but they had not been reciprocated.
Recalling that Prime Minister Imran Khan had once promised that Pakistan will take two steps towards peace if India takes one, Chaudhry warned: “We have stated that if you [India] work towards peace, we will reciprocate. But if you want to wage war, we will fight back till the end.”
At the Kartarpur Corridor groundbreaking ceremony, the premier had said that one is supposed to learn from history, not live in it, Chaudhry recalled.
When asked about the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Muslim bloc in the Kashmir dispute, Chaudhry said: “There is no Muslim bloc now. […] All Muslim countries are embroiled in conflict. [Of the] countries that are stable, Turkey is standing by us; the rest will take decisions according to their own interests.
“No doubt, there is disappointment in Pakistan over the award recently conferred upon [Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi] by the UAE. We consider UAE as a friend to Pakistan and it must not be forgotten that Pakistan had a huge role in making Dubai what it is today.”
He further said that the Kashmir dispute was not Pakistan’s problem, but a global human rights issue.
“What good is the leadership of a Muslim leader who does not stand by his Muslim brother despite visible cruelty and injustice?”
The minister also said that despite imposing a lock-down in occupied Kashmir, Modi has been “trapped”.
“Why do they [the Indian government] panic when President Trump, France or Britain speak about [the Kashmir dispute]? Because Modi does not want any international leader to discuss the Kashmir issue. When the international leadership discusses this issue, then the UNHCR report on Kashmir — which details what they [Indian forces] have done over there — will also come to light.
“Why have they turned Kashmir into a jail: so that the outside world is not be able to know the situation is there. Yet, after a long time, you can see what the New York Times, BBC and the rest of the international media are writing about Kashmir,” he added.
Chaudhry said that India’s narrative of the Kashmir dispute being an internal matter was defeated when the United Nations Security Council called a session to discuss the issue.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming address at the UN session will be an important one, and added: “Whether you support him or not, no one can deny that Prime Minister Imran has an ability to put forward Pakistan’s stance that many of our past leaders lacked.”
Tensions between Pakistan and India are high since last month, when Inter-Services Public Relations said that Indian forces had used cluster munitions to target the civilian population in Azad Jammu and Kashmir from across the Line of Control; in violation of the Geneva Convention and international law.
Relations worsened when New Delhi repealed Article 370 of the Indian constitution, stripping occupied Kashmir of its special status.