Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for United Nations (UN) action over India’s decision to revoke autonomy from Indian-administered Kashmir, saying the risk of war between the nuclear-armed neighbours made the issue a cause for global concern.
The appeal on Monday came as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected third-party mediation over the disputed Himalayan territory. He was speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit alongside Donald Trump, the president of the United States, who has previously offered to act as a go-between in the dispute.
Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but rule it in part.
On August 5, Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government triggered a fresh crisis over Kashmir when it revoked the Muslim-majority region’s semi autonomous status and imposed an unprecedented security lockdown in the territory.
It drew deep anger in Pakistan, which said last week it would take the case to the International Court of Justice.
In a televised speech on Monday, Khan called Modi’s intervention a “huge blunder” and said Pakistan would “go to any length at every forum” to press the issue.
The UN has a responsibility to ensure the people of Kashmir had the right to decide their own future through a referendum, he said, but the global body was “standing with the powerful countries.”
Khan added: “If the situation leads to war, do remember that both the countries have nuclear weapons and no one can win a nuclear war. It will not only affect us, it will affect the whole world, that’s why today all the responsibility is on the international community and on the superpowers.”
Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over the territory.
The two countries came close to war in February this year after an attack on a police convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir prompted a dogfight in the skies over the region.
On Monday, Modi maintained that the Kashmir dispute was a bilateral matter.