Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the international community to play their due role in resolving the Kashmir issue and warned them that the dispute — which has now become a flashpoint between India and Pakistan — carries the potential of turning into a nuclear war and impacting the entire world.
In a wide-ranging interview with Al Jazeera, the prime minister said that Pakistan has limited options to address the situation.
"There is not much we can do except approach all international organizations that were set up after the first World War — mainly the United Nations," he said, adding that the United States, China, Russia, and European countries are all being approached by Pakistan over the matter.
He expressed his resentment over the lukewarm global response after India's revocation of occupied Kashmir's autonomous 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 realize 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."
Possibility of Nuclear War
Asked if he shares concerns voiced by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi about an accidental war between the two nuclear-armed powers, he said: "Absolutely. What is happening is that India is more or less conducting genocide. The sort of racial attacks [made] on the population, I don't think it has been witnessed since Nazi Germany. The eight million Muslims in Kashmir are under siege for almost six weeks now. And why this can become a flash point between India and Pakistan is because what India is trying to do is divert attention from its illegal annexation and their impending genocide in Kashmir."
He added: "They are taking attention away by blaming Pakistan for terrorism. And this is what they did last February when there was a suicide attack by a young Kashmiri boy, blowing himself up against an Indian military convoy and India blamed Pakistan for it and then bombed us.
"So we fear that this will happen again because what they are doing in Kashmir will lead to a reaction, some sort of reaction, and they will then blame Pakistan for it to divert the world's attention from the genocide in Kashmir."
Talking about the country's policy on the first use of nuclear weapons, he said: "There is no confusion. What I said was that 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."
The premier warned that if a conventional war were to be fought, "Pakistanis will fight to the death for their freedom".
He said: "When a nuclear armed country fights to the death, it has consequences. That is why we have approached the United Nations and are approaching every international forum urging them to act right now because this is a potential disaster which would go beyond the Indian subcontinent."