Attacking India is not an option, said Prime Minister Imran Khan during a press conference at the UN on Tuesday.
Flanked by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, he said he had only come to the UN to highlight the Kashmir issue. The premier said he was disappointed by the international community’s “lukewarm” response to the Kashmir issue and said they were prioritizing money over human lives.
He also ruled out any chance of a meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi, saying that before August 5, Pakistan tried everything and was rebuffed. “What’s the point of talking now?” he asked. “Unless they lift the curfew and restore Article 370, there’s no chance of talking. That’s why we’ve asked President Trump and others to intervene,” he said.
He said the world must take notice of what’s happening in India because this is the first time since the Cuban crisis that two nuclear armed countries are coming face to face.
He also denounced statements that Pakistan was “lining up 500 terrorists along the Kashmir border”. What nonsense, he said, asking what possible benefit Pakistan could derive from this. There are 900,000 security forces there, he reminded the press, adding that if Pakistan were to do so, it would result in greater oppression of the Kashmiri people and Pakistan being blamed.
PM Khan said the UN is also responsible for what is happening in Kashmir as it failed to implement its Security Council resolutions. Look beyond big markets, he urged world leaders.
The premier confirmed that President Trump has asked him to mediate with Iran. He confided that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had done the same. I have spoken to President Rouhani on de-escalation and the possibility of another deal, he said, declining to comment further.
He also said that Pakistan is still hoping for a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict. We’re still hoping and trying to get the talks restarted and hopefully the deal will be signed, he said.
PM Khan explained that he was going to meet the Taliban after the deal was signed with the Americans to persuade them to meet the Afghan government but “unfortunately we found out through a tweet that the deal was off”. Progress would have come after the deal was signed, he said, calling the development “very sad”.
Once the Afghans get together they’ll find a solution, it’s just a question of getting there, he said.
“I am disappointed by the international community first because if eight million Europeans were put under siege, or Jews, or Americans, well if it was even eight Americans, would the reaction have been the same? They make statements but there’s no pressure on India as yet,” said PM Khan. “We will keep mounting the pressure, I will tell the UN,” he vowed.
The premier said Kashmiris are being oppressed because they are Muslim. If they fight for their rights, they are called terrorists, he said at an event held in honour of delegates of the OIC’s Contact Group on Kashmir.
The event was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
Over eight million innocent Kashmiri people have been made hostages by Indian forces, he said urging the Muslim world to speak up on their behalf.
If they were Europeans instead of Kashmiris, would the world’s reaction be different, asked the premier, adding that Muslim countries must awaken the international community about the plight of Kashmiris.
The curfew in Kashmir has entered its 51st day, he said, adding that eight million people are under siege and such a situation is unprecedented. PM Khan said there is an imminent risk of genocide of Kashmiri Muslims. He said the atrocities being witnessed in the valley are unlike anything that happened in the past.
He said minorities are not safe in India and are being treated as inferior citizens. The event was attended by the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.