ISLAMABAD – Pakistan does not want a war, but has vowed to respond “to the enemy” as “fully as possible,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In a message on the occasion of Defense Day, which is commemorated every year in honor of the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in the 1965 war against India, Khan said that Pakistan again faces a similar situation.
According to the politician, India is “again demonstrating aggressive positions on the Control Line – the military border established between India and Pakistan” – and changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“For Pakistan, Kashmir is a jugular vein. Changing its status poses challenges to the security and integrity of Pakistan,” Khan said in his message. He accused India of establishing a “kingdom of terror” for the people of Kashmir.
In another message, General Qamar Bajwa, the Pakistani army chief, said Pakistan’s people and armed forces were “willing to sacrifice everything for their Kashmiri brothers.”
The Indian Parliament withdrew autonomy from the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir in early August. Islamabad has since warned that the move could provoke war. India says the changes in Kashmir are an internal matter and rejects Pakistan’s position.
China rarely requests United Nations Security Council meetings, but made the 15-member Council meet behind closed doors.
Although the UN body did not agree to issue a joint statement, China’s ambassador Zhang Jun summed up the discussions, describing a serious concern about the situation.
“They are also concerned about the human rights situation and it is also the members’ view that the parties involved should avoid any unilateral action that could further aggravate the tension there, as the tension is very tense and very dangerous,” Zhang Jun said after the first Council meeting on the issue in decades.
India’s UN ambassador Syed Akbaruddin accused Zhang of trying to pass on his remarks as “the will of the international community.” He said India’s decision is an internal affair.
“If there are problems, they will be discussed, they will be approached by our courts; we do not need international meddles to try to tell us how to manage our lives. We are more than one billion people,” Akbaruddin told reporters.
Both India and Pakistan claim the Kashmir region, which has remained divided between the two countries since their liberation from British colonial rule in 1947.
The Himalayan region has created tension between the Pakistanis and India, two countries with nuclear weapons.
The UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region, including one that said a referendum should be held to determine the future of Kashmir’s Muslim majority.
UN soldiers have since 1949 been watching the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.