03 September 2019
Islamabad: Amid tensions with its neighbour India following its decision to abrogate the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asserted that his country would never ever start a war with India and even not use nuclear weapons first.
"We will never ever start the war. Both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers and if tension escalates, the world will face danger," he said while addressing a gathering of the Sikh community at the Governor's House here in Lahore.
"...I want to tell India that war is not a solution to any problem. The winner in war is also a loser. War gives birth to host of other issues."
Both India and Pakistan have not engaged since January 2016 terror attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot by Pakistan-based terrorists, with New Delhi maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.
Relations between the two nations further deteriorated after a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terror group's suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14 this year. Following this, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in early hours of February 26.
The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in aerial combat and captured a Indian pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.
Tension between the two neighbours again escalated when India on August 5 scrapped Article 370 of its Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to India's move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
The Pakistan Prime Minister, recalling his previous telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, said: "I told him that there are similar circumstances both in Pakistan and India. I told him about climate change. We are sitting on a ticking bomb. If we do not address this issue (climate change) there will be a scarcity of water (in both countries).
"I told him that we together can solve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue."
Imran Khan claimed he made efforts (for talks) alleging that India was acting like a superpower. "...India asked us to do this and not to do that. It was giving us dictation."
Interacting with the Sikh community, who had come from different European countries, he assured that Pakistan would issue multiple visas to Sikhs to facilitate them in visiting their religious places.