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Diplomacy

‘War with India a possibility’, Imran Khan says

The comments come weeks after a Pakistani minister had reportedly predicted a ‘full-blown war between Pakistan and India likely to occur in the month of October or November’.


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Updated: September 17, 2019

Days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the possibility of an “accidental war” with India over the Kashmir issue cannot be ruled out, its Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he “absolutely believes” in such a consequence.

While speaking to news channel Al Jazeera, Imran Khan raised the issue of Kashmir and said that there is a possibility of a conventional war with India that could go beyond the subcontinent.

“So that’s why we have approached the United Nations, we are approaching every international forum, that they must act right now,” he said, adding that he “absolutely” believes war with India could be a possibility.

“…this is a potential disaster that would go way beyond the Indian subcontinent,” Mr Khan said. “I am a pacifist, I am anti-war, I believe that wars do not solve any problems,” he told the news channel.

“When two nuclear-armed countries fight, if they fight a conventional war, there is every possibility that it is going to end up into nuclear war. The unthinkable,” he said. “If say Pakistan, God forbid, we are fighting a conventional war, we are losing, and if a country is stuck between the choice: either you surrender or you fight till death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom,” he said.

In his statements, he asserted that there was no question of talking to New Delhi after it abrogated Article 370.

Khan had in August said that he would no longer seek a dialogue with New Delhi and raised the threat of a military escalation between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

“You are looking at two nuclear-armed countries eyeball to eyeball, and anything can happen”, Khan said while talking about heightening tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

However, he later asserted that his country would never ever start a war with India and even not use nuclear weapons first.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while addressing media at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last week, had said that the “possibility of an accidental war with India cannot be ruled out”.

“I believe both Pakistan and India understand the consequences of a conflict. But you cannot rule out the possibility of accidental war due to the constant increase in tension. If things continue like this, then anything can happen,” Qureshi said.

The comments come weeks after a Pakistani minister had reportedly predicted a “full-blown war between Pakistan and India likely to occur in the month of October or November”.

According to reports, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, while addressing a ceremony in Rawalpindi, said that the war with India will be the “last this time”.

A day after the Indian government abrogated Article 370, Imran Khan had warned of “Pulwama-like incidents to happen again”.



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