Pakistan’s PM warns country getting closer to ‘military confrontation’ with India

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Ousted Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, in a July 21, 2019, file photo.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that his country and India could be moving closer to a “direct military confrontation” as tensions escalate between the two nations over the disputed region of Kashmir.

Khan, in a Friday New York Times op-ed, called for the international community to get involved in the dispute over Kashmir, a territory claimed by both nations.

{mosads}”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,” he wrote.

He also accused India of issuing a “not-so-veiled nuclear threat to Pakistan” after the country’s defense minister said the future of its “no first use” nuclear doctrine will “depend on circumstances.”

Khan expressed hope that the countries could reach a dialogue, but said India first has to reverse its “illegal annexation of Kashmir.”

“Through dialogue and negotiations, the stakeholders can arrive at a viable solution to end the decades of suffering of the Kashmiri people and move toward a stable and just peace in the region. But dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks,” he wrote.

The Pakistani leader compared the situation to World War II in his call for global action. 

“It is imperative that the international community think beyond trade and business advantages,” Khan wrote. “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 and India have fought two wars over Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region, and both control a portion of the territory.

India’s longstanding position is that the status of Kashmir should be resolved by bilateral talks between the two countries. India rejected President Trump’s offer to negotiate between the two countries earlier this year.

Tensions in Kashmir were exacerbated after more than 40 Indian solders were killed in a suicide attack in February in the Indian-controlled part of the region. 

India earlier this month also revoked the special status of the part of Kashmir it administers and placed it under a communications blackout.

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