Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing at the International Sikh Convention on 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak at Governor House Punjab on Monday. Image Credit: APP

Dubai: Though war clouds are looming over India and Pakistan over Kashmir, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured everyone that his country will never use nuclear weapons first.

He also said that Pakistan would also not start any military conflict. Imran was speaking at the concluding session of the three-day International Sikh Convention at the Punjab Governor House on Monday.

Prime Minister Imran said the Kashmir issue could be resolved through dialogue as the war could not be a solution to any problem and those looking for that option were fools.

Pakistan Foreign Office clarifies

Imran's latest statement on the Kashmir issue and the use of nuclear weapons came as a surpise to many as the Pakistan Foreign office quickly came to his resuce. The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said on Twitter that the (Prime Minister’s) comments were being taken out of context and did not represent a change in Pakistan’s nuclear policy.

“PM was simply reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to peace and the need for both nuclear states to demonstrate responsible behaviour,” spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on his official Twitter account.

Tension between India and Pakistan has been growing since India revoked the special status of the disputed Kashmir region on the Indian side.

“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 remain high in Kashmir, where security forces have used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters and the valley remains under lockdown after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to withdraw special rights for the Muslim-majority state on Aug. 5.

By stripping Indian-adminstered Kashmir of its special status, New Delhi blocked the region’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there. Delhi said the change would help Kashmir’s development, to the benefit of all, but its move angered many residents of the region and was strongly condemned by Pakistan.


Imran Khan has so far focused on a global diplomatic campaign condemning India’s actions, accusing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of committing human rights violations and atrocities in the valley.

He has also said frequently that any misadventure between two nuclear-armed nations could endanger the world.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full. Two of the three wars they have fought have been over it.

Multiple visa for Sikh pilgrims 

Prime minister Imran said the government would facilitate the Sikh pilgrims and ease out all the processes for them, besides uplifting their shrines in different cities.

He said the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak-- the founder of Sikhism and the first Guru of the Sikhs-- would be celebrated with full zeal along with the Sikh community.

Imran also announced that his government would start issuing multiple and on-arrival visas to Sikh pilgrims coming from India and abroad and provide them maximum possible facilities during their visit to to their holy sites.

"I assure that you will be issued multiple visas... This is our responsibility. We will facilitate you rather will give you visas at airport," Imran said while addressing the Sikh convention. 

The convention was attended by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, federal and provincial cabinet members, and Sikh pilgrims from the UK, the US, Canada, Europe and other countries.

Imran said that his government wanted to ease visa restrictions as he realised the difficulties faced by foreigners to get Pakistani visas intending to visit the country for pilgrimage or tourism.

Ticking bomb

After assuming the prime minister’s office, Imran said he had tried to establish good ties with India, which unfortunately set preconditions instead of engaging in dialogue.

He said the region was sitting on a ticking bomb of climate change as the glaciers were melting which could have dangerous repercussions for the future generations, and called for joint efforts to counter the challenge.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government, he said, was pursuing the ideology that Hindus were superior to other communities, which had originally led to the creation of Pakistan.

He said no religion preached oppression of minorities, rather all the prophets had taught humanity, compassion and justice to establish a difference between a civilized society and the wild life.

Drawing the audience’s attention towards ongoing human rights violations in the Indian-administered Kashmir,  Imran said Kashmiris had been under curfew for last 27 days, which was unacceptable.

He said Pakistan was building pressure to do away with that ideology and also urged the Sikhs to raise their voice against it.

He said the world would be in danger if the two nuclear powers had any military confrontation. He, however, reiterated that Pakistan would never trigger a war.

With inputs by agencies