Intensifying his criticism of India following the revocation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that he would no longer seek a dialogue with New Delhi and raised the threat of a military escalation between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
“There is no point in talking to them (Indian officials). I mean, I have done all the talking. Unfortunately, now when I look back, all the overtures that I was making for peace and dialogue, I think they took it for appeasement. There is nothing more that we can do,” Khan told the New York Times in an interview published on Wednesday.
During the interview at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad, a day after he had a telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump, Khan complained about what he described as “repeated rebuffs from (Indian) Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his appeals for communication” — both before and after the Indian government’s move to abrogate provisions of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir.
Khan further said, “You are looking at two nuclear-armed countries eyeball to eyeball, and anything can happen”, while talking about heightening tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
“My worry is that this can escalate and for two nuclear-armed countries, it should be alarming for the world what we are facing now”, he added.
Early on Wednesday, Imran Khan asked his party leader to hold protests in New York, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in the third week of September.
Khan said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would organise massive protests in New York to give the Indian Prime Minister a ‘global backlash’ over his government’s decision to abrogate Article 370, that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier in the month, following the developments, the Pakistan government condemned the abrogation of Article 370 and said that it will “exercise all possible options to counter it”.
The Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said that it “strongly condemns and rejects” the announcement by India to repeal Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
In an unprecedented move, the Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan’s move to get Kashmir discussed at the UN Security Council (UNSC), thanks to China, did not get much traction. The issue was discussed behind closed doors and the UNSC backed India’s position that its move on Kashmir was to bring about more development.
Islamabad later said it will take the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice.