"I fear that after the curfew is lifted, there would be a massacre [of Kashmiris] by the 900,000 Indian troops deployed there," said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has highlighted the plight of Kashmir after India stripped it of its special status, and warned of the likely consequences.
Imran also said that India’s decision on August 5 to revoke Article 370 of the Indian constitution, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of special status. India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in full, but control only parts of it – territories recognised internationally as “Indian-administered Kashmir” and “Pakistan-administered Kashmir”.
“We know of mass arrests. We know that the entire leadership of Kashmir — even those leaders who were pro-India — are now in jails, somewhere in India,” Imran told reporters outside the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
“We know that young people, boys have been picked up. We know that (even) hospitals aren’t functioning.
“My whole point of coming here was to highlight this. This is unprecedented in this day and age.”
Imran said that India’s claim that Kashmir was an internal issue and that the world should stay out of it is “nonsense”.
When India revoked Article 370, all communication lines including internet and mobile networks, were and remain cut. Curfews were imposed and political leaders were put under house arrest.
Imran said there are 11 UN Security Council resolutions recognising that Kashmir is a disputed territory which give the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir through a plebiscite.
He said the fear now is that the BJP-led government are set on changing the demography of the region, an action tantamount to “war crimes” under the Geneva conventions.
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He stressed that a bigger worry was what will happen after the curfew imposed by India in occupied Kashmir is lifted.
“I fear that after the curfew is lifted, there would be a massacre [of Kashmiris] by the 900,000 Indian troops deployed there,” said Imran.
“What will happen when the curfew in Kashmir is lifted? Post the loss of lives, do you think the people of Kashmir will accept the status quo? There’s a likelihood of a massacre and the world community will be responsible.
“Once a conflict starts between two nuclear armed nations, it goes beyond our hands. I have said this to the Indian people too. And it is madness to allow this situation to deteriorate further.
“I also fear that whatever happens in Kashmir, India would blame Pakistan for it,” he added, referring to India’s blame on Pakistan for the February attack on its military convoy by a Kashmiri boy.
“I went on air and said if you give us any proof, we will take action. Before any proof could come, the Indian jets arrived; they bombed us,” Imran said.
Imran regretted that following a retaliation by Pakistan Air Force which downed Indian jets and captured their pilot, the peace gesture shown by Pakistan to immediately return the air force officer was “taken as weakness”.
Imran said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who subscribes to the RSS ideology, was responsible for the massacre in Gujrat.
“Unfortunately, India today is governed by a racist, Hindu supremacist party RSS which was once banned in India … Just google it and you will find that (Benito) Mussolini (former Prime Minister of Italy) was their hero.
“When I came to power, I called Modi and said that we have similar problems. I told him that our problem is poverty above everything … but there was no response … they tried to push us into the blacklist of the FATF,” Imran said.
“Their agenda came forward on August 5.”
PM Imran asked what the justification for jailing eight million people was.
“What is happening to Kashmiris, is also a responsibility of the United Nations,” he said.
“If ever the Security Council were to move it is now
“Eight million people are locked inside for 50 days … this has the potential to reach the unthinkable.
“For what purpose was the UN established?
“How can the global community remain silent when eight million people are being treated worse than animals?
“To be absolutely frank; I am disappointed by the international community. If eight million Europeans or Jews or Americans were put under siege … well even if eight Americans had been put under siege … you can imagine the reaction.
“Over one billion Muslims are watching this unfold. But where is the world community? This will have repercussions and will create radicalisation. I am flagging this right now.
“After the UNGA we’ll have an OIC summit. We’ll gather all Muslim leaders. The only reason why Kashmiris are subjected to this is because they’re Muslims. That’s why it’s important for the Muslim world to take a stance. Otherwise this will lead to radicalisation.”
US President Donald Trump appeared to cut off Pakistan when he gave a huge endorsement for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I know that your Prime Minister will take care of it … you have a great Prime Minister and he will solve the problem, I have no doubt about it,” said Trump, who Imran hoped would consider mediating between the two countries over Kashmir.