India: Khan’s remarks on Kashmir not statesman-like


India on Saturday said the Pakistani premier’s remarks warning of potential nuclear war with New Delhi were not appropriate to “statesmanship”.

In a reply to Imran Khan’s speech at UN General Assembly, India’s top foreign ministry official Vidisha Maitra said: “Prime Minister Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship.”

Describing the latest humanitarian situation in Kashmir, which has been under near-complete lockdown for 56 days, Khan urged the General Assembly on Friday to take immediate steps for the people in Kashmir.

He also warned that the ongoing situation could lead two rivals to the brink of a nuclear war.

“When a nuclear-armed country fights to the end it will have consequences far beyond the borders. It will have consequences for the world,” he warned.

Calling on the UN to act to prevent a possible “bloodbath” in the disputed valley, Khan dismissed New Delhi’s claim that the new move would bring prosperity and development to Jammu and Kashmir and underlined that Kashmiris would be “further radicalized”.

The Indian foreign ministry’s first secretary Maitra said that Khan’s justification of terrorism “was brazen and incendiary” as his country had “monopolized the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism.”

She went on to claim that her country was going ahead with “mainstreaming development” in Jammu and Kashmir, arguing that this was “well and truly underway”.

Maitra also blamed Pakistan of “having mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech” and claimed that the country was “trying to play its wild card as the newfound champion of human rights.”

She described Pakistan’s criticism against the removal of special provision to Jammu and Kashmir — which she claimed to be “outdated and temporary” — as a “virulent reaction”.

“Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf,” she added.

Tension between the two South Asian nuclear neighbors mounted in recent weeks after the Indian government scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on Aug. 5.

Since then, the region has been under a near-complete lockdown as the Indian government has blocked communication access and imposed restrictions on movement to thwart any protests in the region.

Several rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.

India said that 93% of the restrictions have been eased in the conflict-ridden region, a claim that Anadolu Agency could not independently verify.

From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed a special status under the Indian constitution which allowed it to enact its own laws. The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

India and Pakistan hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.
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