ISLAMABAD: Amid an escalating war of words between Pakistani and Indian leaders, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday asked the world to worry about Indian nuclear weapons under a “fascist” and “racist” government in Delhi.
“The world must also seriously consider the safety & security of India’s nuclear arsenal in the control of the fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist Modi govt. This is an issue that impacts not just the region but the world,” the prime minister said in a series of tweets on India.
PM Khan further said that the Hindu supremacist government in India was not only a threat to its own minorities and “the very fabric of Nehru and Gandhi’s India”, but also to Pakistan. He urged the world to better understand the extremist mindset of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological fountainhead, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
About the plight of the Indian Muslims, he said: “Already 4m Indian Muslims face detention camps and cancellation of citizenship. World must take note as this genie is out of the bottle & the doctrine of hate and genocide, with RSS goons on the rampage, will spread unless the international community acts now to stop it.”
Rajnath’s tweet shows the predicament Delhi finds itself in after its illegal actions in held Kashmir, says FM
Tensions between Pakistan and India have been aggravating since Delhi moved to annex the disputed territory of Kashmir on Aug 5 through a presidential order. The situation was discussed at the United Nations Security Council on Friday where members expressed their concern and asked the parties to the conflict to avoid taking unilateral steps that could lead to further escalation.
On the same day, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh brought the nuclear issue into the limelight by hinting that India could alter its nuclear policy of no first use. The remarks were immediately condemned by Pakistan as “irresponsible” and “unfortunate”, and its leadership vowed to maintain credible minimum deterrence posture. However, the acrimony has refused to die down.
The Indian defence minister in his latest comments has suggested that there can be no talks with Pakistan, as being encouraged by various countries, and if ever there is going to be a discussion, it will be on Azad Kashmir.
“Some people believe and say that there should be talks with Pakistan, but until Pakistan stops supporting terrorism, there will be nothing. If there are talks with Pakistan then it will be on” Azad Kashmir, he tweeted.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in a statement in response to Mr Singh’s latest comment, said it was a reflection of India’s troubled mindset after its controversial and “illegal” move on held Kashmir.
“We have seen the comments made by the Indian defence minister today. These are reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in after its illegal and unilateral actions imperilling peace and security in the region and beyond,” the foreign minister said.
He underscored that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was to be decided on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people. He maintained that Pakistan’s position on the dispute was based on the UN Charter and international law and remained unchanged.
Mr Qureshi also condemned the worsening human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, where the Indian government has imposed a curfew, now in its 13th day, and restrictions on communications.
“Equally condemnable is the completely indefensible lockdown of the entire population in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, that has gone on for two weeks, and continues to deepen the dire humanitarian tragedy as reported by the international human rights organisations and the international media,” he said. “The world community, including the United Nations Security Council, has taken cognisance of this utterly untenable situation.”
Speaking in Multan, Mr Qureshi challenged the Indian leadership to hold a referendum on the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution to see for itself how Kashmiris were looking at it.
“In Srinagar, or wherever you see fit, hold a public referendum today,” he said.
“I challenge Narendra Modi to lift the curfew and call the entire Kashmiri leadership — including those who have been in government with you such as Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, also a former CM, and the Hurriyat leadership: Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Ali Gilani, Yasin Malik — there are numerous individuals,” he said.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2019