Kashmir is Pakistan’s “jugular vein” and India’s decision to alter its special status poses challenges to the country’s security and integrity, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday.
Prime Minister Khan in his message on Pakistan’s Defence and Martyrs Day said his government has launched a proactive diplomatic campaign in the world capitals and at the United Nations to apprise the world community about Kashmir after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.
Pakistan observes September 6 as the Defence and Martyrs Day to mark the anniversary of the 1965 war with India.
“For Pakistan, Kashmir stands as its jugular vein. Altering its status poses challenges to Pakistan’s security and integrity,” Khan said.
“I have also urged upon the international community to seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal... this is an issue that impacts not just the South Asian region but the whole world,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the world community will be responsible for the “catastrophic aftermath” if it fails to pay attention to India’s nuclear arsenal.
“I have informed the world that Pakistan does not want war, but at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity,” Khan said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiked after New Delhi withdrew Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two union territories on August 5.
Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making “irresponsible statements” and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.
Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who addressed the main ceremony at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, said Kashmir was the “unfulfilled agenda” of the completion of Pakistan.
“I want to make it clear that Kashmir is the unfulfilled agenda of the completion of Pakistan. It will remain so until it is a resolved according to the UN resolutions,” he said.
Bajwa said Pakistan had won its battle against terrorism and was now fighting to end poverty and backwardness.
“Today there is a better environment of peace in Pakistan and the country gives the message of peace and security to the world,” he said.
“Pakistan has fulfilled its responsibilities in the war on terrorism and now responsibility rests with the world community to full its responsibility and reject all forms of terrorism and extremism. Our fight now is against poverty, unemployment and economic backwardness after successfully confronting the menace of terrorism,” he said.
The Army Chief said Pakistan would continue supporting the peace process in Afghanistan, adding that the complete peace would be possible if all the Afghan groups were part of it.
“Pakistan’s support will continue until complete peace is achieved in Afghanistan,” he said, amidst reports that the US and the Taliban militants are set to sign a peace deal soon to end the brutal war in the country.
Pesident Arif Alvi in his message said Pakistan will continue to support the people of Kashmir and will raise the issue at all levels and platforms.
Later, Prime Minister Khan and the Army Chief visited the Line of Control and interacted with soldiers. Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also accompanied them.