on Friday threatened the world with the spectre of a nuclear war if the global community did not pay attention to Islamabad’s dispute with New Delhi over
In an overwrought New York Times OpEd published online, Khan wrote, “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.”
“India’s defence minister has issued a not-so-veiled nuclear threat to Pakistan by saying that the future of India’s “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons will ‘depend on circumstances.’ Similar statements have been made by Indian leaders periodically,” Khan explained, without mentioning that Pakistan has an active first-use nuclear weapons policy with a very low threshold, including if its economic interests are threatened. Pakistan has long viewed India’s “no first use” claims with skepticism, he added.
Having rattled the nuclear sabre, Khan said “Pakistan and India have to move out of a zero-sum mind-set to begin dialogue on Kashmir, various strategic matters and trade” and revealed that Islamabad has “already prepared multiple options that can be worked on while honoring the right to self-determination the Kashmiris were promised by the Security Council resolutions and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.”
He did not elaborate on the options. The UNSC resolutions, among other things, require Pakistan to vacate the part of Jammu and Kashmir that it illegally occupied and which it now calls “Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).”
It was not clear if Khan was offering to do this as a pre-requisite to a plebiscite as required under the resolution, and also how he would reverse demographic changes brought about by Pakistan and how he could take back the parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir that Islamabad ceded to China.
Khan also laid down markers for resumption of talks, saying “dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks.”
The Pakistan Prime Minister prefaced his nuclear threat by claiming he wanted to normalize relations with India through trade and by settling the Kashmir dispute, and it was New Delhi that backed down, glossing over the fact that Pakistan’s unrelenting fostering of terrorists, terror groups, and terror attacks – all of which has led to global censure and isolation – was what led to breakdown of talks.
Specifically, Khan mentioned the three letters he wrote to Prime Minister
pushing for talks and normalization of relations, while ignoring Pakistan’s failure to act against UN-designated terrorists and terror groups, including those who attacked Mumbai on 26/11, a fiasco that put the country on the global terror financing watchlist. Instead, Khan insisted that “while I was making peace overtures, India had been lobbying to get Pakistan placed on the “blacklist” at the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, which could lead to severe economic sanctions and push us toward bankruptcy.”
Glossing over Pakistan’s courtship of terrorism that has put the country in the international doghouse and stigmatized the insurgency in the Kashmir Valley, Khan accused the global community of pallying with India for business reason. “It is imperative that the international community think beyond trade and business advantages. World War II happened because of appeasement at Munich. A similar threat looms over the world again, but this time under the nuclear shadow,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister warned.