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Pakistan will not initiate armed conflict with India: Khan

In this file photo, taken on August 14, 2019, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) is seen listening to the national anthem as he arrives at the legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, to mark the country’s Independence Day. (By AFP)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan says his country would not pull the trigger first in a potential armed conflict with India over the disputed Kashmir region.

Addressing members of the Sikh religious community in Lahore on Monday, Khan said any armed conflict could lead to a nuclear standoff.

“We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger. There will be no first from our side ever,” he said.

Tensions have been simmering between India and Pakistan since New Delhi stripped Indian-controlled Kashmir of its special autonomy earlier last month. Pakistan has called that move “illegal.”

Kashmir is generally considered disputed territory. It has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.

Khan has previously warned that the issue of Kashmir could lead to a nuclear war between Islamabad and New Delhi if the international community failed to intervene.

Indian spy given consular access

Separately, Islamabad gave a consular access to an Indian national who has been convicted of spying for India and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.

The access was given after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in July ordered Pakistan to review the death penalty given to Kulbhushan Jadhav and asked the country to grant him consular access.

India bans Kashmiri activist from travelling

Amid the tensions in Kashmir, Indian immigration authorities stopped a Kashmiri journalist and rights activist at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi on Saturday and banned him from travelling to Germany, official sources said Sunday.

Gowhar Geelani was scheduled to take part in a media training program organized by Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

Geelani, a critic of India’s measure regarding Kashmir, said an immigration officer told him that there were orders not to allow him to travel abroad due to the “prevailing situation in Kashmir.”

Last month, Kashmiri politician Shah Faesal was stopped at the airport and was not permitted to travel abroad.

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