India wants to damage Pakistan economically: PM Imran

Tells Al Jazeera that Modi's Kashmir move has ended the possibility of talks

APP September 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said India is trying to bankrupt Pakistan and to push it on the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force as he ruled out any prospects for the resumption of talks with its nuclear-armed neighbour led by "racist and fascist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)".

In an interview with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV, the prime minister said after assuming office in August 2018, his government tried to start dialogue with its neighbour to sort out all differences including the core Kashmir issue through a political settlement, but they pulled back after realising that Narendra Modi-led government has an agenda to push Pakistan towards disaster.

"No question of talking to Indian government right now after it revoked Article 370 of its constitution and annexed Kashmir illegally against the UNSC resolutions. India's unilateral action not only violated international laws but also its own laws," he said, adding the UN resolution called for a plebiscite in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), so that Kashmiris could determine their own fate, added.

PM Imran warns of 'unimaginable' catastrophe if tensions with India escalate

The prime minister said the two countries have similar problems including climate change but their sincere urge for dialogue was misinterpreted.

"The BJP's extreme right-wing, racist and fascist government is treating us as if we are scared of them. They took our peace gesture as appeasement," he added.

The prime minister said India is engaged in genocide, a sort of racial attack against Muslims and minorities, never witnessed in history since Nazi Germany. About eight million Muslims in occupied Kashmir have been under siege for almost six weeks now, he said.

"The developments have made the region a flashpoint as India could do anything like it did after the Pulwama attack to divert the world's attention from its illegal annexation of the IOK and genocide of the Kashmiri Muslims," he continued.

"[After such attack] they would try to blame Pakistan and could do what they had done in last February. Pakistan fears that such incidents could occur again," he added.

Clarifying a question, the prime minister maintained that there should be no confusion over his statement that Pakistan would never start a war. "I'm a pacifist and anti-war. I am clear about it," he said, cautioning that if two nuclear-armed countries fought a conventional war, there was every possibility that it could end up into a nuclear conflict, which is unthinkable.

In that case, such a conflict would have far-reaching consequences going beyond the Indian sub-continent. If the international community failed to resolve the Kashmir issue, it would impact the entire world and the entire world markets, he added.

The prime minister said they would approach all the international forums to highlight the plight of the Kashmiri people and the illegal and unilateral steps taken by India. They must act now as the situation has the potential to snowball into a disaster spilling beyond the Indian sub-continent.

He said they would be urging the world powers like the US, Russia and the European countries, to play their role in resolving the issue, adding that China has been very supportive to Pakistan.

Unfair to pin blame of US setbacks in Afghanistan on Pakistan: PM Imran

About US President Donald Trump's offer to mediate between Pakistan and India, the prime minister said they are really thankful to him for his offer.

He said when the US president seriously intervened in an issue there would be some sort of resolution. "Secondly, if the US did not directly intervene, it has a role in the United Nations and the Security Council to exercise."

India is stonewalling this suggestion because it knows that once the international community is involved, it will insist on implementing the exercise of right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, he said.

The prime minister, to a question, replied that during the upcoming UN General Assembly session, he would focus on the Kashmir situation.


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