–President Alvi says India can carry out false flag operation to divert global attention from Kashmir abuses
President Arif Alvi has warned that the move to do away with the autonomous status of occupied Kashmir will destroy the “secularity” of the India state.
In a conversation with Vice News – a Canadian-American media organisation— the president said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in New Delhi was “living in a fool’s paradise” if it felt that it could improve the situation in occupied Kashmir by revoking Articles 370 and 35-A that provides special status to the region.
“The international community should continue putting pressure on India to foil its hegemonic intent to swallow the whole Kashmir,” Alvi urged.
He added that India could carry out false flag operation and attack on Pakistan to divert the international community’s attention from Kashmir’s situation.
Alvi suggested that India should withdraw the constitutional amendments and allow Kashmiri people to decide their own future.
Alluding to the protests and weeks-long curfew in the held region, Alvi said the abrogation of these articles added fire to the militancy in the region, which Pakistan has nothing to do with.
Speaking about the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting that was held on the request of Pakistan, he said a lot of background discussions on the situation took place and that the “Kashmir issue has been internationalised after a long time”.
He said India has ignored numerous Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and refuses to sit down with Pakistan to settle the dispute.
“For how long that will continue?” he said of the impasse in bilateral talks, stressing that a long time had passed since Pakistan and India entered into the Shimla Agreement of 1972.
He questioned whether the world could remain quiet and keep pushing two parties to hold talks when one of them refuses to negotiate.
“I think there is a hegemonistic intent to swallow Kashmir [but] it won’t happen,” the president said.
Echoing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s warning, he said there was a possibility that India could stage a false-flag operation “like Pulwama” and then attack Pakistan. “But Pakistan doesn’t want to start a war,” he added.
Alvi said it was India that desired a war with Pakistan but that he would “strongly discourage” New Delhi from walking that route.
“India is going on a road which is very dangerous,” he said, adding that Pakistan was speaking from its experience of tackling extremism when it warned New Delhi against alienating its Muslim population.
Asked how Pakistan would respond if India created the conditions for an all-out conflict, the president said Pakistan could not take everything lying down. “If India starts a war it is our right to defend ourselves,” he stressed.
The president on Saturday also posted a video on his twitter account in which Kashmiri men and women staged a protest and chanted slogans against the Indian government’s action to revoke the special status of the valley.
“This is Srinagar yesterday despite curfews, bans, blackouts, teargas & firing. No amount of oppression & brutality can suppress the resentment of the Kashmiris against India. They want freedom at all costs. Please retweet and let the world know,” President Alvi wrote as caption with the video clip.
The Indian-administered region has been facing a clampdown since Aug. 5, when the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which conferred it a special status.
Hundreds of people, mostly political leaders, have been detained or arrested by authorities since the move.
Kashmiri leaders and residents fear the move is an attempt by India to change the demography of the state, where some groups have been fighting Indian rule for either independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.
According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.