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Why Pakistan is changing its tune on Kashmir

7 87 0
04.09.2019

In his infamous op-ed in The New York Times, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan took to the predictable nuclear blackmail to draw the world’s attention to Kashmir. “World War II happened because of appeasement at Munich. A similar threat looms over the world again, but this time under the nuclear shadow,” he wrote.

The very next day, his foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a BBC Urdu interview that war was not an option to deal with the Kashmir issue. He also seemed to soften his position on bilateral talks with India. Imran Khan, in contrast, had categorically said that there would be no talks until India reversed its 5 August decision to “annex” Jammu & Kashmir.

Changing its tune on war-mongering, Imran Khan has now himself said that Pakistan won’t initiate a conflict with India: “Both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers and if tension escalates, the world will face danger… 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.”

He didn’t say, as initially misreported, that Pakistan was changing its nuclear policy to no-first-use, but there is nevertheless a shift from “two nuclear-armed states get(ting) ever closer to a direct military confrontation” to “we will never ever start the war”.

There have been other interesting shifts in Pakistan’s strategy. It expelled the Indian High Commissioner, an act that often accompanies military tensions. But when it came to closing Pakistani air space to Indian commercial traffic, Islamabad decided not to do so for the moment, suggesting that the two countries aren’t scrambling to launch their fighter jets yet.

Also read: As Bangladesh races ahead of India, Pakistan reiterates Nuclear........

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