ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday warned the world against surge of Hindu nationalism in India under the Modi government.

The prime minister first spoke at length about the deteriorating situation in India-held Kashmir and India’s controversial citizenship legislation, which specifically discriminates against Muslims, at the Refugee Conference hosted jointly by the Pakistan government and the UNHCR.

Mr Khan later again touched on the issue when UN Secretary General António Guterres called on him at his office.

At the conference, Mr Khan said that “if UN does not play its part, this [the situation in held Kahsmir and India] could become a flashpoint”. He cautioned that hate-based politics and pushing ultra-nationalism always result in bloodshed. “If not checked [these developments] could end in massive bloodshed,” he worried.

The prime minister said the situation in India, which has roiled widespread protests against the citizenship law, could have implications for Pakistan.

“The two pieces of legislation actually target 200 million Muslims in India. If this is not checked and the world does not raise voice against this injustice, it can have problems for our country. We can have huge refugee problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, talking to the UN secretary general later in the day, the prime minister said: “India’s belligerent rhetoric, intensified ceasefire violations on the LoC and other aggressive actions are imperiling peace and security in the region.” He told Mr Guterres that Kashmiris were looking towards the United Nations to honour its commitments for the realisation of their right to self-determination, as enshrined in numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

UN Secretary General Guterres also called on Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa at the General Headquarters.

“During the meeting, matters of mutual interests, overall regional security situation, including Afghan refugees issue, Afghan reconciliation process and Kashmir dispute, were discussed,” the ISPR said.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2020