By Aamir Latif and Islamuddin Sajid
KARACHI / ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan’s prime minister on Wednesday accused India of planning military action in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
Addressing a special session of Pakistani-administered Kashmir's legislative assembly in the capital Muzaffarabad, Imran Khan said if a war breaks out between Pakistan and India, the international community will be responsible.
India has “made a more horrendous plan to divert world attention from their move in Kashmir, they are planning action in Azad Kashmir,” Khan said, referring to the portion of Kashmir under Pakistani administration.
He said Pakistan is ready to counter any aggression, but also questioned the silence of the international community on the escalating situation in the region.
"The army is prepared, not just the army but the entire nation will fight alongside our military” to defeat an “aggressive war against Islam,” said Khan.
Khan said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a “strategic blunder” by revoking the special status of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir on Aug. 5.
He “has played his last card, considering it a final solution. But let me tell you, India will be the biggest loser from this blunder. From here, it will only lead to the freedom [of Kashmir]”, he added.
- Concerned over lockdown
Raja Farooq Haider, the prime minister of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and other lawmakers also addressed the special session, which was summoned to mark Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day.
Khan, who travelled to Muzaffarabad, added that the current developments in Kashmir are alarming for the Muslim population living in the valley.
"We are all concerned at the moment about the truth of the humanitarian crisis and the atrocities created by this lockdown that has been imposed" in the wake of India’s move, he said.
"Whatever was done during the curfew by India, we will tell the international community that you are responsible. Whichever forum we get, I will be the ambassador and bring up Kashmir at every forum," Khan said.
He promised to raise the issue in all available forums, including the UN and the International Court of Justice.
“We have already approached the UN Security Council. Now it is the UN’s trial. The UN has to prove that it not only stands beside the powerful,” he said.
The two South Asian neighbors “are reeling from poverty, climate change and other issues. We can work together to sort them out if the Kashmir dispute is resolved,” he argued.
The Himalayan region of Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.