New Delhi: As tensions with India continue over the abrogation of Article 370 vis-a-vis Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his country would not be the first to use nuclear weapons.
Khan, in an opinion piece in The New York Times, published on August 30, had said that if the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get ever closer to a direct military confrontation.
On September 2, while addressing a gathering of the Sikh community at the Governor’s House in Lahore, Khan also pointed out that war was not the solution to solving any problem.
“We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger. There will be no first from our side ever,” he said.
“I want to tell India that war is not a solution to any problem. The winner in war is also a loser. War gives birth to host of other issues,” he added.
The tension between India and Pakistan is an ongoing problem with the former refusing to engage in talks with the latter after an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by Pakistan-based terrorists. While Khan has been calling for dialogue, India has steadily maintained that talks and terror cannot go together.
Relationships soured further when early this year a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Amid the outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in aerial combat and captured Indian pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.
The tension recently escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Recalling his previous telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan said, “I told him that there are similar circumstances both in Pakistan and India. I told him about the climate change. We are sitting on a ticking bomb. If we do not address this issue (climate change) there will be scarcity of water (in both countries). I told him that we together can solve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.”
Expressing his frustration over “no response” from India for his efforts to talk to Pakistan, Khan said, “Whatever effort I made India was acting like a super power asking us to do this and not to do that (for talks). It was giving us dictation.”
He told the participating Sikhs who had come from different European countries that Pakistan would issue multiple visas to Sikhs so that they could visit their holy places.