Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has requested for UN action over India’s decision to revoke autonomy from Indian-administered Kashmir, saying the risk of war between the nuclear-armed neighbors made the issue a trigger for global concern.
The appeal on Monday came as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected third-party mediation over the disputed Himalayan territory. He was addressing on the sidelines of the G7 summit alongside Donald Trump, the president of the United States, who has previously offered to act as a go-between in the dispute.
Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, however, rule it in part.
On August 5, Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government triggered a recent crisis over Kashmir when it revoked the Muslim-majority region’s semi-autonomous status and imposed an unprecedented security lockdown in the territory.
It drew deep anger in Pakistan, which mentioned last week it might take the case to the International Court of Justice.
The United Nations has a responsibility to ensure the people of Kashmir had the right to resolve their future through a referendum, he stated, but the global body was “standing with the powerful countries.”
Khan added: “If the situation results in war, do remember that both the countries have nuclear weapons and nobody can win a nuclear war. It will not only affect us, but it’ll also affect the whole world, that is why today all the responsibility is on the international community and the superpowers.”
Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over the territory.
The two countries came close to war in February this year after an attack on a police convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir prompted a dogfight in the skies over the region.
On Monday, Modi maintained that the Kashmir dispute was a bilateral matter.
The Indian leader has previously mentioned the revocation of Kashmir’s special status would spur economic growth in the region and bring an end to decades of the armed rebellion that has killed thousands of people.
Meanwhile, Trump mentioned there was no need for him to mediate between the two countries because Modi felt he has the state of affairs “under control.”
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, stated Khan didn’t consider dialogue could bring a resolution.
In his speech, Khan, who ruled out seeking further dialogue with India over Kashmir last week, said he’ll raise the issue when he addresses the UN General Assembly on September 27.
He also called on Pakistanis to stop work for half an hour on Friday as a mark of solidarity with Kashmiris.