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India playing with fire in Kashmir: Pakistan Prez

India playing with fire in Kashmir: Pakistan Prez

Islamabad, Aug 25 (UNI) Pakistan President Arif Alvi has said India is playing with fire by revoking the special autonomy of Kashmir and the same fire will burn its secular fabric.

In an interview to Canadian-American media outlet Vice News on Saturday, the president said the Indian government was "living in a fool's paradise" if it felt that it could improve the situation in Kashmir by revoking Articles 370 and 35-A of its constitution.

India, in fact, encouraged terrorism through the constitutional changes in Kashmir for which Pakistan was not responsible, he said.

When asked whether Pakistan was disappointed that no statement had been issued after the first United Nations Security Council meeting on Kashmir in decades, Alvi said a lot of background discussions on the situation took place and that the "Kashmir issue has been internationalised after a long time".

He alleged that 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.

He said Pakistan will continue to internationalise the issue.

Echoing Prime Minister Imran Khan's warning, he said there was a possibility that India could stage a "Pulwama like" operation against Pakistan. "But Pakistan doesn't want to start a war," he added.

"If India starts a war it is our right to defend ourselves," he stressed.

UNI XC-RHK SY 0830

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