Geneva [Switzerland]: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again threatened New Delhi with nuclear war over the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which promises Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees of the neighbouring countries.
Khan, while addressing the first Global Refugee Forum as a co-convener here on Tuesday, said: “I want to tell the whole world that they should be aware of the biggest impending refugee crisis [in South Asia].”
He was apparently referring to the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which promises Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.
“We in Pakistan are not just worried that there’ll be a refugee crisis; we are worried that this could lead to a conflict. A conflict between two nuclear-armed countries,” Khan remarked.
Leaving no opportunity to condemn India on the world stage, Khan also put forth his rhetoric on New Delhi’s decision to revoke Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying “It is time for the world to take notice of the situation in Kashmir,” despite India time again stating that such matters are entirely “internal” to the country.
“We know from our past experience that prevention is better than cure. If the world acts right now and puts pressure on the Indian government to stop this illegal activity, we could prevent this crisis,” the cricketer-turned-politician told the forum, adding that millions of Muslims could flee from India because of the “curfew imposed in Kashmir”.
It should be noted that this is not the first time when Pakistan has abused the global platform to imply a clear message of threat asserting that if India provokes Pakistan – Islamabad will not hesitate to use its nuclear weapons.
In his maiden address to the September UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Khan had warned of dire consequences in the event of a nuclear war with India after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
“If a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen. A country seven times smaller than its neighbour, what will it do — either surrender or fight for its freedom,” he told the UN.
“My belief is we will fight and when a nuclear-armed country fights till the end it will consequence far beyond the borders. I am warning you. It’s not a threat but the worry about where are we heading to. If this goes wrong, you hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” the prime minister added.
Pakistan has repeatedly criticised India on the global platform for revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of taking care of the vulnerable condition of the minorities who are facing the constant threat of persecution on its soil.
It is also worth mentioning, at the same time, that the United Nations, as well as the entire international community, has regularly condemned the extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances of Balochs, Ahmadiyya, and other minority communities by the Pakistani establishment.
“Over the past 72 years, Pakistan has systematically persecuted its minorities, forcing most of them to flee to India. PM Khan wishes world forgets what his Army did in ’71 to people of erstwhile East Pakistan. Pakistan must act to protect and promote rights of its own minorities and co-religionists,” the MEA statement said.
However, India was quick to react to the Pakistani leader’s comment, with the Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar claiming that Khan had earlier also peddled “familiar falsehoods to advance his narrow political agenda by making such gratuitous and unwarranted remarks.”
Prior to this, New Delhi also “categorically” rejected a resolution adopted by Pakistan against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying that the move directly referred to matters that are “internal” to the country and is “a thinly-veiled attempt” by the Islamic state to peddle its false narrative on Kashmir.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed from Parliament earlier this week and became an Act with the Presidential assent to it on November 12.
The first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in Geneva has been convened in recognition of an exemplary role for the protection and well-being of refugees by several countries including Pakistan, Islamabad said in a statement.