Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has threatened India of “aggressive” action amid the escalating tension between the two conflicting countries following the Balakot pre-emptive airstrike carried by the Indian Armed Forces (IAF), hinting to a possibility of a nuclear war.
The threats were extended by Khan to “any superpowers” that provokes his country, citing that his army is ready and will use the extent of their powers to subvert anyone that crosses their government.
Pakistan owns around 145 nuclear warheads, and if the threats are to come true, the possible nuclear war may kill more than two billion people from both opposing countries.
It is also pressing and noteworthy that the US, Russia, and China are all involved – all having their arsenal of nuclear weaponry.
Imran Khan’s latest pronouncement is new evidence that a more severe conflict is brewing between the two countries that have stemmed out from their disagreeing claims over Kashmir, a territory that they both share control divided by a Line of Control.
“If someone, if it is India or any superpower, wishes to enslave the Pakistani nation, I want to make it clear that my nation and I will fight until our last breath to save our independence,” Khan said in a speech in Chacharo, close to the border with India.
Any superpower who will continue to threaten Pakistan, he continued, “will receive a befitting response from here.”
The tension began on the dawn of February 26th when Indian military jets dropped bombs in a “non-military” and “pre-emptive” air strike aimed to neutralize the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot region in Pakistan.
While India claims that around 300 members of the Jaish terrorist groups were killed in the air strike, including the Jaish leader Yousuf Azhar, brother-in-law of the JeM chief, Pakistan has continued to deny the number of casualties. According to stated records, the bombs dropped by India did not fall on the Jaish camp but instead in a sparsely habitable area near Balakot after Indian fighter jets were taken aback by Pakistani planes that responded the air strike.
Following the air strike in Balakot, Prime Minister Imran Khan called for a high-level meeting with his officials and other high-ranking military officers to talk about how to respond to the provocation made by India. After the meeting, Khan said that Pakistan would return “in the place and time of its choosing.”
Yesterday is another time that Khan has asserted its position of response to India. While he did not talk about the word “nuclear,” his statement that says he “will fight until the last breath” suggests that Pakistan is ready to use the full power of its military arsenal, including its nuclear weapons.
With 145 nuclear warheads, Pakistan has a more extensive arsenal of nuclear weapons at its disposal compared to India and is even on track to build the third biggest collection of nuclear weapons in the world.
As the tension between the two countries escalates, reports revealed that India is stockpiling 750,000 assault rifles and readied a nuclear submarine, with which Khan has responded with a flat statement that Pakistan is also ready to go to war.
“Beware, we are ready, this nation and its army is ready, if you opt for aggression, we will respond aggressively,” Khan said.
The Balakot air strike carried out by Indian authorities is retaliation after Pakistani terrorists, and members of the Jaish group have killed 40 Indian soldiers after a suicide attack near an Indian convoy. Following the air strike, many reports have sprouted that the heavily militarized Indo-Pak border started seeing the exchange of fire between both the Pakistani and Indian forces. India has repeatedly called out Pakistan for violation of their 2003 ceasefire agreement as many civilians were evacuated and educational institutions were closed due to the intensifying conflict between the two forces.
According to Imran Khan in a tweet posted by the account bearing his official handle, “The brutality of Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir has rallied all Kashmiris together in their demand for freedom from Indian Occupation. The Indian army is not fighting insurgents but an entire people in IOK.” This proves that both India and Pakistan are sending competing narratives of violence from each other, an indication of a more serious conflict between the two countries.
The possibility of a nuclear may seem far-fetched but not impossible; especially that other superpowers back both countries. Is this a World War 3 looming? /apr