Islamabad: Intensifying his criticism of India following the revocation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he would no longer seek a dialogue with New Delhi and raised the threat of a military escalation between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
“There is no point in talking to them (Indian officials). I mean, I have done all the talking. Unfortunately, now when I look back, all the overtures that I was making for peace and dialogue, I think they took it for appeasement. There is nothing more that we can do,” Khan told the New York Times in an interview published on Wednesday.
During the interview at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad, a day after he had a telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump, Khan complained about what he described as “repeated rebuffs from (Indian) Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his appeals for communication” — both before and after the Indian government’s move to abrogate provisions of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking about heightening tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the cricketer-turned-politician said: “… You are looking at two nuclear-armed countries eyeball to eyeball, and anything can happen.
“My worry is that this can escalate and for two nuclear-armed countries, it should be alarming for the world what we are facing now.”
There was no immediate comment from the Indian government in New Delhi on Khan’s remarks. Indian Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, however, rejected the criticism.
“Our experience has been that every time we have taken an initiative towards peace, it has turned out badly for us,” he said, adding: “We expect Pakistan to take credible, irreversible and verifiable action against terrorism.”
The Ambassador also said that things were going “back to normal” in Kashmir.
“Restrictions are being eased based on the ground situation. Public utility services, banks and hospitals are functioning normally,” he said.
“There are adequate food stocks. Some restrictions on communication are in the interests of safety and security of the citizenry.”
Pakistan’s move to get Kashmir discussed at the UN Security Council (UNSC), thanks to China, did not get much traction. The issue was discussed behind closed doors and the UNSC backed India’s position that its move on Kashmir was to bring about more development.
Islamabad later said it will take the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice.