Nuclear war no option; Pak would give up its weapons, If India did: PM



Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday dismissed the notion of any nuclear war between Pakistan and India, saying his country would give up its weapons, if its eastern neighbour did the same.
In an interview with the Fox News, the Prime Minister responded in affirmative when asked “If India said we would give up nuclear weapons, would Pakistan?
“Yes, because nuclear war is not an option. And between Pakistan and India, the idea of nuclear war is actually self-destruction, because we have two and a half thousand-mile border.
“Also, I think there’s a realization in the subcontinent and there was some incident that happened last February and we again had tension at the border. An Indian plane was shot down in Pakistan,” Khan said while referring to the Indian violation of Pakistan’s air space and bombing of a deserted hillside. He told Bret Bier of the Fox News that it was this very “realization” he asked President Trump to play his role. He said the United States of America was the most powerful country in the world – “the only country that could mediate between Pakistan and India, and the only issue is Kashmir.”
Khan said “the only reason for 70 years, that we have not been able to live like civilized neighbors, is because of Kashmir.”
The US President Donald Trump in his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Oval office had offered US mediation on the 70-year old lingering Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
When asked to comment about the response from India’s foreign ministry which said “no such request has been made by Prime Minister Modi”, Prime Minister Imran Khan said “I really feel that India should come on the table.”
He said the two countries have not been able to move ahead bilaterally. He recalled that only on one occasion Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Musharraf did come close to a resolution, but since then, the two countries have been polls apart.
“The US could play a big part, President Trump certainly can play a big part. We’re talking about 1.3 billion people on this Earth. Imagine the dividends of peace if somehow that issue could be resolved,” Khan said.
Imran Khan categorically dismissed any “concerns” about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, getting into the hands of terrorists.
“Pakistan has one of the most professional armies, we have one of the most comprehensive command and control of our nuclear weapons.”
“They have absolutely no need to worry,” Khan said and added “The United States knows about it because we share our intelligence with the US about the way we have the safety measures about our nuclear programme.”
To a question about Iran wanting a nuclear weapon, Imran Khan said: “I can’t say […] but as a neighbour of Iran, we certainly hope that this does not become a full-blown conflict. He said being a neighbour, Pakistan would love to help, if his country was asked.
“The last thing we want is a conflict in Iran, which will obviously affect us. Not just us, but it will affect oil prices, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia. We would do anything for a peaceful resolution,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said. —APP