While Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan will not start a war with India, he has also warned of the risk to the world if a nuclear war breaks out in South Asia. “We are two nuclear-armed countries. If tensions rise, then they present a danger to the world,” Prime Minister Imran said on Monday while speaking at the International Sikh Convention at Governor House in Lahore, where attendees included Indian Sikhs. “From our side, we will never act first.” The PM also noted that the Indian government seems to have forgotten that it is not yet a global superpower. “Whatever effort I made, India was acting like a superpower telling us to do this and not to do that. It was giving us dictation,” Imran said.
Given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outright lies and mismanagement of the economy, it is clear that India cannot become an economic superpower under his watch. But a fascist superpower? Maybe. Prime Minister Imran’s remarks were initially reported by Reuters as promising not to use nuclear weapons first, but the foreign ministry was quick to clarify that the remarks had been “taken out of context”, adding that “While conflict should not take place between two nuclear states, there’s no change in Pakistan’s nuclear policy.”
PM Imran, meanwhile on Tuesday, had a telephonic talk with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the two sides reportedly discussed the situation in India-occupied Kashmir. Imran apprised Salman of the current situation in the region. This was the third phone call between the prime minister and the Saudi crown prince in three weeks. There has also been excitement regarding the upcoming visit of the Saudi foreign minister to Islamabad, but given the recent Saudi investment in India and the close relationship between Salman and Modi, it would be highly unlikely that anything groundbreaking would emerge from the visit. At best, it may help resolve the issues facing Pakistani doctors in Saudi Arabia, up to 1,000 of whom face sacking and deportation due to recent changes in Saudi laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2019.