Imran Khan warns India and Pakistan could go to war over Kashmir tensions
Indian parliamentarians are set to ratify a proposed change to the status of the disputed territory.
Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan has asked the world community to take notice of Indian moves to change the status of the disputed Kashmir region, and warned that Islamabad and New Delhi could go to war if India repeats a military strike inside his country.
Mr Khan told the Pakistani parliament that he fears that Kashmiri people, angered over India’s decision to strip the region of its special status, could launch an attack on Indian security forces and that New Delhi could blame Pakistan for it.
Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan, and is claimed by both.
India’s lower house of parliament ratified a bill presented by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government to revoke a longstanding constitutional provision that made Kashmir exempt from some Indian laws and gave its residents hereditary rights to land, educational scholarships and public sector jobs in the region.
An indefinite security clampdown continues in the Kashmir Valley, where about seven million people were blocked from mobile phone, internet and landline networks.
In February, a bomb attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed 40 Indian troops. India responded with an air strike inside Pakistan, blaming a Pakistani group for the attack.
Pakistan retaliated and said it shot down two Indian air force planes.
The Chinese government said it is “seriously concerned” about the developing situation in Kashmir.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says India and Pakistan should practice restraint and avoid taking unilateral action to “change the status quo and escalate tensions”.
Ms Hua’s comments were issued on China’s foreign ministry website.