Pakistani PM faces backlash online after predicting ‘bloodbath’ in Kashmir & threatening India with nukes at UNGA
There will be a bloodbath in Kashmir when India lifts its curfew, Imran Khan, Pakistani Prime Minister, warned the UN General Assembly. His Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, didn’t address the disputed region in his speech.
Tensions have run high between the two nuclear-armed nations since New Delhi revoked Kashmir’s decades-old autonomous status, arguing that the move was needed to fully integrate the region into India and bring prosperity to it. Thousands of Indian troops were sent to the area, with a curfew imposed in order to prevent possible unrest.
“What’s going to happen when the curfew is going to be lifted – it’ll be a bloodbath,” Khan said from the UN tribune.
Pakistan rejects India’s justification for the Kashmir move, accusing its neighbor of a crackdown on the local Muslim population and infringing on its part of the disputed region’s territory.
India and Pakistan have already fought two wars over Kashmir in 1947 and 1965, with Khan reiterating that he doesn’t rule out a third one, in which nukes may well be employed.
If the conflict with India breaks out, a much smaller Pakistan would have to choose between surrender and a “fight for… freedom till death,” the PM pointed out.
“What will we do? I ask myself this question … and we will fight. … and when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, it will have consequences far beyond the borders.”
Modi, who took the stage after Khan’s fiery speech, delivered his message in a much calmer manner. He didn’t mention the dispute over Kashmir or tensions with Pakistan at all, concentrating instead on broader global issues. One of them was terrorism, which the PM called “one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity.” India accuses Pakistan of supporting terrorist groups in Kashmir.
Khan’s speech drew a torrent of angry reactions from the Indian part of the Twittersphere. India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, blasted Khan’s address on Twitter, accusing him or “warmongering” and misusing the UN platform.
Many Indian commentators echoed the spokesman, with some going as far as suggesting that the Pakistani PM should be banned from ever appearing at the General Assembly again.
Khan was also blamed for being “obsessed” with India and its PM. A particularly inquisitive commenter pointed out that the Muslim-majority country’s leader mentioned Modi more frequently than Prophet Muhammad in his address.
Others were worried that Khan’s words could incite attacks against Indians around the globe.
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