U-turn or tactic: Imran claims Pak will not use the n-weapon first against India
New Delhi: After a month of muscle-flexing and veiled threats of nuclear war, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan suddenly piped down on Monday saying, “There will be no first use of nuclear weapons from our side, ever”.
With the world contemptuously ignoring Pakistan’s war-mongering tactics and diplomatic acrobatics, Khan, apparently, climbed down sensing the global mood and the heavy costs Islamabad would have to pay in case of even a limited war against India. But there are more reasons for this posturing.
Ever since India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, Pakistan has been trying to garner international support by marketing falsehoods, threats, blackmail and victim-hood. Khan even wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times, apart from tweeting furiously, issuing dire statements and media interviews to build a ‘favourable’ opinion even as Pakistan President Arif Alvi and Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed continued to issue routine threats to all and sundry.
“We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger”, Khan said, addressing the Sikh community in the eastern city of Lahore. “There will be no first from our side ever,” he said on Monday.
His statement came on a day Pakistan granted consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a military court on trumped up charges of terrorism and espionage. Under tremendous pressure from watchful Pakistani officials sniffing down his neck, he could barely speak his heart to Gaurav Ahluwalia, the Charge d’Affairs of Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Clearly, Pakistan’s peace-posturing on Jadhav and nuclear fronts on the same day was only a tactic to bargain time, rather than a change of heart
Islamabad suddenly wore the peace mask fearing that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), global watchdog against terror-funding, could take stern action this month to blacklist Pakistan. This could jeopardize all international financial aid and further cripple the comatose economy.
Secondly, Khan is trying to mend fences with the livid Sikh community after abduction and conversion of a Sikh girl and her forcible marriage with a Muslim boy. In fact, he smoked the peace pipe at a Sikh community’s function. Recently, Pakistan has revived the “Khalistan movement” and is trying to garner support of the Sikh community. The Kartarpur Corridor project is part of this stratagem.